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BIRDS.

Calling to his bird-mate,
In troubleless delight!
In the green and leafy wood,
Where the branching ferns upcurl,
Soon as is the dawning

Wake the mavis and the merle;
Wakes the cuckoo on the bough,

Wakes the jay with ruddy breast, Wakes the mother ring-dove, Brooding on her nest!

Oh, the sunny summer time!
Oh, the leafy summer time!
Merry is the birds' life,

When the year is in its prime!
Some are strong, and some are weak,

Some love day, and some love night, But whate'er a bird is,

Whate'er loves-it has delight

In the joyous song it sings,

In the liquid air it cleaves,
In the sunshine, in the shower,
In the nest it weaves.

Do we wake, or do we sleep,
Go our fancies in a crowd,
After many a dull care,
Birds are singing loud!
Sing then, linnet, sing then, wren,
Merle and mavis, sing your fill;
And thou, rapturous skylark,

Sing and soar up from the hill!

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Sing, O nightingale, and pour
Out for us sweet fancies new;
Singing for us, birds,

We will sing of you!

Mary Howitt.

THE THRUSH'S NEST.

WITHIN a thick and spreading hawthorn bush
That overhung a molehill large and round,
I heard from morn to morn a merry thrush

Sing hymns of rapture, while I drank the sound With joy-and oft, an unintruding guest,

I watched her secret toils from day to day; How true she warped the moss to form her nest, And modelled it within with wood and clay. And by and by, like heath-bells gilt with dew,

There lay her shining eggs as bright as flowers, Ink-spotted over, shells of green and blue;

And there I witnessed, in the summer hours, A brood of nature's minstrels chirp and fly, Glad as the sunshine and the laughing sky.

John Clare.

TO THE RED-BREAST.

WHEN that the fields put on their gay attire,
Thou silent sitt'st near brake or river's brim,
Whilst the gay thrush sings loud from covert dim ;
But when pale Winter lights the social fire,

THE GRASSHOPPER.

And meads with slime are sprent and ways with mire,
Thou charm'st us with thy soft and solemn hymn,
From battlement, or barn, or hay-stack trim;
And now not seldom turn'st, as if for hire,

Thy thrilling pipe to me, waiting to catch The pittance due to thy well-warbled song;

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Sweet bird, sing on! for oft near lonely hatch, Like thee, myself have pleased the rustic throng, And oft for entrance, 'neath the peaceful thatch, Full many a tale have told and ditty long.

John Bumpfylde.

THE GRASSHOPPER.

HAPPY insect, what can be
In happiness compared to thee?
Fed with nourishment divine,
The dewy morning's gentle wine!
Nature waits upon thee still,
And thy verdant cup does fill;
'Tis filled wherever thou dost tread,
Nature's self's thy Ganymede.
Thou dost drink, and dance, and sing,
Happier than the happiest king!
All the fields which thou dost see,
All the plants belong to thee;
All that summer hours produce,
Fertile made with early juice.
Man for thee does sow and plough;
Farmer he, and landlord thou!
Thou dost innocently enjoy;
Nor does thy luxury destroy.

The shepherd gladly heareth thee,
More harmonious than he.

Thee country hinds with gladness hear,
Prophet of the ripened year!
Thee Phoebus loves, and does inspire;
Phoebus is himself thy sire.
To thee, of all things upon earth,

Life is no longer than thy mirth.
Happy insect! happy thou,

Dost neither age nor winter know;
But when thou'st drunk, and danced, and sung

Thy fill, the flowery leaves among
(Voluptuous and wise withal,
Epicurean animal!),

Sated with thy summer feast,
Thou retir'st to endless rest.

Abraham Cowley.

THE GRASSHOPPER AND CRICKET.
GREEN little vaulter in the sunny grass,
Catching your heart up at the feel of June-
Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy noon,
When even the bees lag at the summoning brass;
And you, warm little housekeeper, who class

With those who think the candles come too soon, Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune Nick the glad silent moments as they pass!

O sweet and tiny cousins, that belong,

One to the fields, the other to the hearth,

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Both have your sunshine; both, though small, are strong At your clear hearts; and both seem given to earth To sing in thoughtful ears this natural song—

In doors and out, summer and winter, mirth.

TO A BEE.

Leigh Hunt.

ON THE GRASSHOPPER AND CRICKET.

THE poetry of earth is never dead:

When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead. That is the Grasshopper's-he takes the lead

In summer luxury-he has never done

With his delights; for, when tired out with fan,
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never.
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems, to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.

TO A BEE.

THOU wert out betimes, thou busy, busy Bee!
As abroad I took my early way,
Before the cow from her resting-place
Had risen up and left her trace

John Keats.

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