Imagens da página

What time the pea puts on the bloom,

Thou fliest thy vocal vale,
An annual guest in other lands,

Another spring to hail.

Sweet bird ! thy bower is ever green,

Thy sky is ever clear ;
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,

No winter in thy year!

O, could I fly, I'd fly with thee !
We'd make, with joyful wing,
Our annual visit o'er the globe,
Attendants on the spring.


When the sexton cheerly rings for noon,
When the clock strikes clear at morning light,
When the child is waked with “nine at night,"
When the chimes play soft in the Sabbath air,
Filling the spirit with tones of prayer, -
Whatever tale in the bell is heard,
He broods on his folded feet unstirred,
Or, rising half in his rounded nest,
He takes the time to smooth his breast,
Then drops again, with filméd eyes,
And sleeps as the last vibration dies.

Sweet bird ! I would that I could be
A hermit in the crowd like thee!
With wings to fly to wood and glen,
Thy lot, like mine, is cast with men ;
And daily, with unwilling feet,
I tread, like thee, the crowded street,
But, unlike me, when day is o'er,
Thou canst dismiss the world, and soar;
Or, at a half-felt wish for rest,
Canst smooth the feathers on thy breast,
And drop, forgetful, to thy nest.

I would that in such wings of gold
I could my weary heart upfold ;
I would I could look down unmoved
(Unloving as I am unloved),
And while the world throngs on beneath,
Smooth down my cares and calmly breathe;
And never sad with others' sadness,
And never glad with others' gladness,
Listen, unstirred, to knell or chime,
And, lapped in quiet, 'bide my time.


O BLITHE new-comer! I have heard,

I hear thee and rejoice.
O cuckoo ! shall I call thee bird,

Or but a wandering voice ?

While I am lying on the grass

Thy twofold shout I hear ; From hill to hill it seems to pass,

At once far off and near.

Though babbling only to the vale

Of sunshine and of flowers, Thou bringest unto me a tale

Of visionary hours.


[blocks in formation]


All the earth and air

With thy voice is loud,
BIRD of the wilderness,

As, when night is bare,
Blithesome and cumberless,

From one lonely cloud
Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea!

The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is Emblem of happiness,

Blest is thy dwelling-place, —
O to abide in the desert with thee !

What thou art we know not ;
Wild is thy lay and loud

What is most like thee ?
Far in the downy cloud,

From rainbow clouds there flow not
Love gives it energy, love gave it birth.

Drops so bright to see,
Where, on thy dewy wing,

As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.
Where art thou journeying?
Thy lay is in heaven, thy love is on earth.

Like a poet hidden
O'er fell and fountain sheen,

In the light of thought,
O'er moor and mountain green,

Singing hymns unbidden,
O'er the red streamer that heralds the day,

Till the world is wrought
Over the cloudlet dim,

To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded.
Over the rainbow's rim,

not ;
Musical cherub, soar, singing, away!
Then, when the gloaming comes,

Like a high-born maiden
Low in the heather blooms

In a palace tower,
Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be!

Soothing her love-laden
Emblem of happiness,

Soul in secret hour
Blest is thy dwelling-place,

With music sweet as love, which overflows her o to abide in the desert with thee !

bower ; JAMES HOGG

Like a glow-worm golden,

In a dell of dew,

Scattering unbeholden

Its aerial hue
Hail to thee, blithe spirit !

Among the flowers and grass which screen it from
Bird thou never wert,

the view;
That from heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart

Like a rose embowered
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

In its own green leaves,

By warm winds deflowered,
Higher still and higher

Till the scent it gives
From the earth thou springest,

Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-
Like a cloud of fire ;

wingéd thieves. The blue deep thou wingest, And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever Sound of vernal showers singest.

On the twinkling grass,

Rain-awakened flowers,
In the golden lightning
Of the setting sun,

All that ever was

Joyous and fresh and clear thy music doth sur.
O'er which clouds are brightening,
Thou dost float and run ;

pass. Like an embodied joy whose race is just begun.

Teach us, sprite or bird,
The pale purple even

What sweet thoughts are thine;
Melts around thy flight;

I have never heard
Like a star of heaven,

Praise of love or wine
In the broad daylight

That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine. Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.

Chorus hymeneal,
Keen as are the arrows

Or triumphant chant,
Of that silver sphere,

Matched with thine, would be all
Whose intense lamp narrows

But an empty vaunt, —
In the white dawn clear,

A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there. I


What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy strain ?
What fields, or waves, or mountains ? ETHEREAL minstrel ! pilgrim of the sky!
What shapes of sky or plain ?

Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound 1 What love of thine own kind ? What ignorance of Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye pain ?

Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground ?

Thy nest, which thou canst drop into at will,
With thy clear, keen joyance

Those quivering wings composed, that music still !
Languor cannot be ;
Shades of annoyance

| To the last point of vision, and beyond,
Never come near thee;

Mount, daring warbler ! — that love-prompted Thou lovest, but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.


'Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond, Waking, or asleep,

Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain ; Thou of death must deem

Yet mightst thou seem, proud privilege ! to sing •
Things more true and deep

All independent of the leafy spring.
Than we mortals dream,
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal

Leave to the nightingale her shady wood ;
stream ?

| A privacy of glorious light is thine, We look before and after,

| Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood And pine for what is not ;

Of harmony, with instinct more divine ;
Our sincerest laughter

Type of the wise, who soar, but never roam, -
With some pain is fraught;

True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home ! Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest



Yet if we could scorn

Hate and pride and fear,
If we were things born

SWEET bird ! that sing'st away the early hours
Not to shed a tear,

Of winters past or coming, void of care ; I know not how thy joy we ever should come near. Well pleased with delights which present are,

Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling Better than all measures

flowers, —.. Of delightful sound,

To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leafy bowers
Better than all treasures

Thou thy Creator's goodness dost declare,
That in books are found,

And what dear gifts on thee he did not spare, Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground! A stain to human sense in sin that lowers.

What soul can be so sick which by thy songs Teach me half the gladness

(Attired in sweetness) sweetly is not driven That thy brain must know,

Quite to forget earth's turmoils, spites, and Such harmonious madness

wrongs, From my lips would flow,

And lift a reverent eye and thought to heaven ! The world should listen then, as I am listening now.

Sweet, artless songster ! thou my mind dost raise
To airs of spheres, — yes, and to angels' lays.


[blocks in formation]

If we should compare their worth With thine endless, gushing mirth.

Yet from out the darkness dreary

Cometh still that cheerful note; Praiseful aye, and never weary,

Is that little warbling throat. Thank him for his lesson's sake,

Thank God's gentle minstrel there, Who, when storms make others quake, Sings of days that brighter were.


When the ides of May are past,
June and summer nearing fast,
While from depths of blue above
Comes the mighty breath of love,
Calling out each bud and flower
With resistless, secret power, —
Waking hope and fond desire,
Kindling the erotic fire, -
Filling youths' and maidens' dreams
With mysterious, pleasing themes ;
Then, amid the sunlight clear
Floating in the fragrant air,
Thou dost fill each heart with pleasure
By thy glad ecstatic measure.


Good morrow to thy sable beak
And glossy plumage dark and sleek,
Thy crimson moon and azure eye,
Cock of the heath, so wildly shy :
I see thee slyly cowering through
That wiry web of silvery dew,
That twinkles in the morning air,
Like casements of my lady fair.
A maid there is in yonder tower,
Who, peeping from her early bower,
Half shows, like thee, her simple wile,
Her braided hair and morning smile.
The rarest things, with wayward will,
Beneath the covert hide them still ;
The rarest things to break of day
Look shortly forth, and shrink away.

A single note, so sweet and low,
Like a full heart's overflow,
Forms the prelude ; but the strain
Gives no such tone again,
For the wild and saucy song
Leaps and skips the notes among,
With such quick and sportive play,
Ne'er was madder, merrier lay.

A fleeting moment of delight
I sunned me in her cheering sight;
As short, I ween, the time will be
That I shall parley hold with thee.
Through Snowdon's mist red beams the day,
The climbing herd-boy chants his lay,
The gnat-flies dance their sunny ring, --
Thou art already on the wing.

Gayest songster of the spring!
Thy melodies before me bring
Visions of some dream-built land,
Where, by constant zephyrs fanned,
I might walk the livelong day,
Embosomed in perpetual May.
Nor care nor fear thy bosom knows ;
For thee a tempest never blows;
But when our northern summer 's o'er,
By Delaware's or Schuylkill's shore
The wild rice lifts its airy head
And royal feasts for thee are spread.
And when the winter threatens there,
Thy tireless wings yet own no fear,
But bear thee to more southern coasts,
Far beyond the reach of frosts.



Bobolink ! still may thy gladness

Take from me all taints of sadness; · Fill my soul with trust unshaken

In that Being who has taken
Care for every living thing,
In summer, winter, fall, and spring.


BOBOLINK! that in the meadow,
Or beneath the orchard's shadow,
Keepest up a constant rattle
Joyous as my children's prattle,
Welcome to the north again!
Welcome to mine ear thy strain,
Welcome to mine eye the sight
Of thy buff, thy black and white.
Brighter plumes may greet the sun
By the banks of Amazon;
Sweeter tones may weave the spell
Of enchanting Philomel ;
But the tropic bird would fail,
And the English nightingale,

ROBERT OF LINCOLN. MERRILY swinging on brier and weed,

Near to the nest of his little dame, Over the mountain-side or mead,

Robert of Lincoln is telling his name :

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink ; Snug and safe is that nest of ours, Hidden among the summer flowers.

Chee, chee, chee.

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink; Nobody knows but my mate and I Where our nest and our nestlings lie.

Chee, chee, chee.

Summer wanes ; the children are grown;

Fun and frolic no more he knows; Robert of Lincoln 's a humdrum crone ; Off he flies, and we sing as he goes :

Bob-oʻ-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink ; When you can pipe that merry old strain, Robert of Lincoln, come back again.

Chee, chee, chee.

Robert of Lincoln is gayly dressed,

Wearing a bright black wedding coat; White are his shoulders and white his crest, Hear him call in his merry note :

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink ;
Look, what a nice new coat is mine,
Sure there was never a bird so fine.

Chee, chee, chee.
Robert of Lincoln's Quaker wife,

Pretty and quiet, with plain brown wings, Passing at home a patient life, Broods in the grass while her husband sings :

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
Brood, kind creature ; you need not fear
Thieves and robbers while I am here.

Chee, chee, chee.



A SWALLOW in the spring Came to our granary, and 'neath the eaves Essayed to make a nest, and there did bring

Wet earth and straw and leaves.

Day after day she toiled With patient art, but ere her work was crowned, Some sad mishap the tiny fabric spoiled,

And dashed it to the ground.

She found the ruin wrought, | But not cast down, forth from the place she flew, And with her mate fresh earth and grasses brought

And built her nest anew.

Modest and shy as a nun is she,

One weak chirp is her only note, Braggart and prince of braggarts is he, Pouring boasts from his little throat:

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink; Never was I afraid of man; Catch me, cowardly knaves, if you can.

Chee, chee, chee.
Six white eggs on a bed of hay,

Flecked with purple, a pretty sight !
There as the mother sits all day,
Robert is singing with all his might:

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink ;
Nice good wife, that never goes out,
Keeping house while I frolic about.

Chee, chee, chee.
Soon as the little ones chip the shell

Six wide mouths are open for food; Robert of Lincoln bestirs him well, Gathering seed for the hungry brood.

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;
This new life is likely to be
Hard for a gay young fellow like me.

Chee, chee, chee.
Robert of Lincoln at length is made

Sober with work, and silent with care ; Off is his holiday garment laid,

Half forgotten that merry air,

But scarcely had she placed The last soft feather on its ample floor, When wicked hand, or chance, again laid waste

And wrought the ruin o'er.

But still her heart she kept, And toiled again; -- and last night, hearing calls, I looked, - and lo ! three little swallows slept

Within the earth-made walls.

What truth is here, 0 man! Hath hope been smitten in its early dawn? Have clouds o'ercast thy purpose, trust, or plan ? Have faith, and struggle on !



The gorse is yellow on the heath,

The banks with speedwell flowers are gay, The oaks are budding; and beneath, The hawthorn soon will bear the wreath,

The silver wreath of May.

« AnteriorContinuar »