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Away ! away I for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the queen-moon is on her throne,
But here there is no light,
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
Darkling I listen; and for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death, Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath; Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
In such an ecstasy!
To thy high requiem become a sod.
Thou wast not born for earth, immortal bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown; Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that ofttimes hath
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu ! the fancy cannot cheat so well
SONGS OF NIGHTINGALES.
Adieu I adieu I thy plaintive anthem fades
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
Was it a vision, or a waking dream 1
TO A NIGHTINGALE.
'Tis night ! awake, awake!
The silent night rejoice!
Call to the echoes, call To the far woods that steep'd in moonlight lie; Call to the quiet sea, the desolate hall,
And each one shall reply.
From out thy leafy boughs Thy voice is as the trumpet's through the wild, Stirring all hearts; which doth from rest arouse
Mother and sleeping child.
Yet not with sense of dread Peasants are gathering in the midnight hours, Whilst high-born maidens go with stately tread
Down paths of moonlit flowers.
The gentle poet speeds Forth in the dewy hush of night, elate With song and love, and his sweet fancy feeds,
Hailing thee, his own mate.
Pour forth, pour forth thy strain Until the blue depths of the heavens are fill'd; Until the memory of thy secret pain
With thine own song is still'd.
Oh! pour, as thou didst ever,
Feeding the mighty sea!
When poesy divine Made visible glory by the sacred spring, Thou wast a voice unto the mystic Nine
At midnight warbling.
Then from his dreamy mood,
And smote his lyre and sung.
Oh! as thou wast to him
And soulless clay inspire!
Alas I it were unjust
Has sold his heritage I
We come forth in the night,
The world's corrupting leaven.
Ay, sing, thou rapturous bird;
Thy power remaineth still.
Thomas Haywood calls upon the birds to wish his love "good-morrow,"
Pack clouds away and welcome day
With night we banish sorrow;
To give my love good-morrow!
Notes from the lark I'll borrow;
To give my love good-morrow I
Wake from thy nest, robin-redbreast,
Sing, birds, in every furrow;
Give my fair love good-morrow!
Stare, linnet, and cock-sparrow;
Sing my fair love good-morrow!
SONGS OF BIBDS.
Oh the sunny summer time!
Oh the leafy summer time! Merry is the birds' life,
When the year is in its prime! Birds are by the water-falls,
Dashing in the rainbow-spray; Everywhere, everywhere,
Light and lovely things are they! Birds are in the forest old,
Building in each hoary tree; Birds are on the green hills;
Birds are on the sea!
On the moor and in the fen,
'Mong the whortle-berries green; In the yellow furze-bush
There the joyous bird is seen; In the heather on the hill;
All among the mountain-thyme; By the little brook-sides,
Where the sparkling waters chime In the crag; and on the peak,
Splinter'd, savage, wild, and bare, There the bird with wild wing
Wheeleth through the air.
Wheeleth through the breezy air,
Singing, screaming in his flight,
In troubleless delight I
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 I
Oh, the sunny summer time!
Oh, the leafy summer time I 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 liquid air it cleaves;
In the nest it weaves.
Do we wake, or do we sleep;
Go our fancies in a crowd
Birds are singing loud I
Merle and mavis sing your fill;
Sing and soar up from the hill!
Out for us sweet fancies new;
We will sing of you 1
Mr. Main, in the "Magazine of Natural History," observes, that "no bird sings with more method than the lark; there is an overture performed, vivace crescendo, while the singer ascends; when at the full height, the song becomes moderate, and distinctly divided into short passages, each repeated three or four times over, like a fantasia, in the same key and tune. If there be any wind, he rises perpendicularly by bounds, and afterwards poises himself with breast opposed to it. If calm, he ascends in spiral circles; in horizontal circles during the principal part of his song, and zigzagly downwards during the performance of the finale. Sometimes, after descending about half-way, he ceases to sing, and drops with the velocity of an arrow to the ground. Those acquainted with the song of the skylark, can tell, without looking at them, whether the birds be ascending or stationary in the air, or on their descent; so different is the style of the song in each case. In the first, there is an expression of ardent impatience; in the second, an andante composure, in which rests of a bar at a time frequently occur; and in the last, a graduated sinking of the strains, often touching the subdominant before the final close. The time and number of the notes often correspond with the vibration of the wings; and though they sometimes sing while on the ground, as they are seen