Page images

None pities him that in the snare,
And warned before, would not beware.--Herrick.

Warned by the sylph-Oh, pious maid beware!
This to disclose is all thy guardian can;
Beware of all, but most beware of man. Pope.

Beware of the tempter! be wary and watch!
Lest wrapped in soft slumber thy soul he should catch;
Lest heedless of danger thou fall in the snare
Of folly's enticements, Oh, ever beware! Egone.

Take any bird, and put

in a cage,
And do thy best and utmost to engage
The bird to love it; give it meat and drink,
And every dainty housewife can bethink;
And keep the cage as cleanly as you may,
And let it be with gilt never so gay;
Yet had this bird by twenty thousand fold,
Rather be in a forest wild and cold,
And feed on worms, and such like wretchedness:
Yea, ever will he tax his whole address,
To get out of the cage when best he may,
His liberty the bird desireth aye.


As wooed by May's delights I have been borne
To take the kind air of a wistful morn,
Near Tavy's voiceful stream, (to whom I owe
More strains than from my pipe can ever flow,)
Here have I heard a sweet bírd never lin [cease]
To chide the river for his clamorous din;
There seemed another in his song to tell
That what the fair stream said he liked well;
And going farther, heard another, too,
All varying still in what the others do;

little then a fourth, with little pain, Conned all their lessons, and then sang again;

[blocks in formation]

So numberless the songsters are that sing
In the sweet groves of the too careless spring,
That I no sooner could the hearing lose
Of one of them, but straight another rose,
And perching deftly on a quaking spray,
Nigh tired himself to make his hearers stay.

Wm. Browne.
It was a very heavenly melody,
Evening and morning to hear the birds sing.

Lydgate. Where thousand birds, all of celestial brood, To him do sweetly carol day and night; And with strange notes, of him well understood, Lull him asleep in angel-like delight.

Countess of Pembroke. The birds, great nature's happy commoners, That haunt in woods, and meads, and flowery gardens, Rifle the sweets, and taste the choicest fruits; Yet scorn to ask the lordly owner's leave. Rowe.

”T is love creates their melody, and all
This waste of music is the voice of love;
That even to birds, and beasts, the tender arts
Of pleasing teaches. Hence the glossy kind
Try every winning way inventive love
Can dictate, and in courtship to their mates
Pour forth their little souls.


Ten thousand warblers cheer the day, and one
The live-long night: nor these alone whose notes
Nice finger'd art must emulate in vain,
But cawing rooks, and kites that swim sublime
In still repeated circles, screaming loud;
The jay, the pie, and e'en the boding owl
That hails the rising moon, have charms for me.

A light broke in upon my soul

It was the carol of a bird ;
It ceased—and then it came again,

The sweetest song ear ever heard. Byron.

Is there a cherished bird, (I venture now
To snatch a sprig from Chaucer's reverend brow;)
Is there a brilliant fondling of the cage,
Though sure of plaudits on his costly stage,
Though fed with dainties from the snow-white hand
Of a kind mistress, fairest of the land,
But gladly would escape; and, if need were,
Scatter the colours from the plumes that bear
The emancipated captive through blithe air,
Into strange woods, where he at large may live;
On best or worst which they and nature give?


Birds, the free tenants of earth, air, and ocean,
Their forms all symmetry, their motions grace;
In plumage delicate and beautiful,
Thick without burthen, close as fishes' scales,
Or loose as full-blown poppies on the gale;
With wings that seem as they'd a soul within them,
They bear their owners with such sweet enchantment.

J. Montgomery.
Children of song! ye birds that dwell in air,
And stole your notes from angels' lyres, and first
In levee of the morn with eulogy
Ascending, hail the advent of the dawn. Pollok.

See the enfranchised bird, who wildly springs

With a keen sparkle in his glowing eye, And a strong effort in his quivering wings, Up to the blue vault of the happy sky.

Mrs. Norton.

Sweet birds that fly through the fields of air,
What lessons of wisdom and truth ye bear!
Ye would teach our souls from the earth to rise,
Ye would bid us its grovelling scenes despise;
Ye would tell us that all its pursuits are vain,
That pleasure is toil-ambition is pain;
That its bliss is touched with a poisoning leaven,
Ye would teach us to fix our hopes on heaven.

C. W. Thompson.

[blocks in formation]

And now, would'st thou, Oman, delight the ear
With earth's delicious sounds; or charm the eye
With beautiful creations? Then pass forth,
And find them 'midst those many-coloured birds
That fill the glowing woods. The richest hues
Lie in their splendid plumage, and their tones
Are sweeter than the music of the lute,
Or the harp's melody, or the notes that gush
So thrillingly from beauty's ruby lip.


If thou art pained with the world's noisy stir,
And crazed with its mad tumults, and weighed down
With any of the ills of human life;
If thou art sick or weak, or mourn'st the loss
Of brethren gone to that far-distant land
To which we all do pass, gentle and poor,
The gayest and the gravest, all alike-
Then turn into the peaceful woods, and hear
The thrilling music of the forest birds.

I. M'Lellan, Jun.
To go abroad rejoicing in the joy
Of beautiful and well-created things.
To thrill with the rich melody of birds,
Living their life of sunshine:
To see, and hear, and breathe the evidence
Of God's deep wisdom in the natural world.

N. P. Willis.
The earth is full of love, albeit the storms
Of passion mar its influence benign,
And drown its voice with discords. Every flower
That to the sun its heaving breast expands,
Is born of love; and every song of birds,
That floats mellifluous on the balmy air,
Is but a love-note.

Thos. Ragg.
How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Flitting about in each leafy tree;
In the leafy trees so broad and tall

Like a green and beautiful palace hall,
With its airy chambers light and boon,
That open to sun, and stars, and moon;

That open unto the bright blue sky,
And the frolicsome winds as they wander by.

[ocr errors][merged small]

What a joy it must be, like a living breeze,
To flutter about 'mong the flow'ring trees;
Lightly to soar, and to see beneath,
The wastes of the blossoming purple heath;
And the yellow furze like fields of gold,
That gladden some fairy region old!
On mountain top, on the billowy sea,
On the leafy stems of the forest tree,
How happy the life of a bird must be!

Mary Howitt. Song-birds of nature, ye, whose bursting throats People the wildwood with your mellow notes,

I love ye all! and yet can ill-express The unutterable joy which fills When pours the language, which your strains impart,

And I may not translate.—Yet not the less Doth busy fancy whisper in mine ear

The meaning of each trill! Oh, curst be he Who takes ye from your homes, where many a year

Ye carolled with delight that ye were free!

And, with mock tenderness, doth prison ye In gilded cage, with span of turf to yield, Oh, mockery! tbe freshness of the field, Where erst ye revelled in your liberty,

G. J. 0. Allmann.

my heart

I SWEAR, 't is better to be lowly born,
And range with humble livers in content,
Than to be perk'd up in a glist'ring grief,
And wear a golden sorrow.

Madam, you haply scorn the vulgar earth
Of which I stand compacted: and because
I cannot add a splendour to my name,
Reflective from a royal pedigree,
You interdict my language; but be pleas'd
To know, the ashes of my ancestors,

« PreviousContinue »