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The Skylark.
Hail to thee, blithe spirit !

Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it,

Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher,

From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire ;

The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden lightning

Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are brightening,

Thou dost float and run ;
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even

Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of heaven,

In the broad daylight
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.

Keen as are the arrows

Of that silver sphere,
Whose intense lamp narrows

In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

All the earth and air

With thy voice is loud,
As, when night is bare,

From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overfluie.l.

What thou art we know not;

What is most like thee ?
From rainbow clouds there flow not

Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,

Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

Like a high-born maiden

In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden

Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

Like a glow-worm golden

In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden

Its aërial hue Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view.

Like a rose embowered

In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflowered,

Till the scent it gives Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged thieves.

Sound of vernal showers

On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awakened flowers,

All that ever was
Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.

Teach us, sprite or bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine :
I have never heard

Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus hymeneal,

Or triumphal chant,
Match'd with thine would be all

But an empty vaunt-
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy strain ?
What fields, or waves, or mountains ?

What shapes of sky or plain ?
What love of thine own kind ? what ignorance of pain ?

With thy clear keen joyance

Languor cannot be :
Shadow of annoyance

Never came near thee:
Thou lovest; but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

Waking or asleep,

Thou of death must deem
Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream,
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream ?

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Yet if we could scorn

Hate, and pride, and fear ;
If we were things born

Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joys we ever should come near.

Better than all measures

Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures

That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground !

Teach me half the gladness'

That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness

From my lips would flow,
The world should listen then, as I am listening now.


To a Skylark.
ETHEREAL Minstrel! pilgrim of the sky !
Dost thou despise the

earth where cares abound ? Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye

Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground ?
Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,
Those quivering wings composed, that music still !
Leave to the nightingale her shady wood,

A privacy of glorious light is thine;
Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood

Of harmony, with instinct more divine ;
Type of the wise who soar, but never roam;
True to the kindred points of heaven and home.


Lol here the gentle Lark ! Lo! here the gentle lark, weary of rest,

From his moist cabinet mounts up on high,
And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast

The sun ariseth in his majesty ;
Who doth the world so gloriously behold,
That cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold.


To the Nightingale.
SWEET bird ! that sing'st away the early hours

Of winters past or coming, void of care ;

Well pleased with delights which present are, Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling flowers : To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leafy bowers, Thou thy Creator's goodness dost declare,

And what dear gifts on thee he did not spare, A stain to human sense in sin that lowers.

What soul can be so sick which by thy songs (Attired in sweetness) sweetly is not driven

Quite to forget earth’s turmoils, spites, and wrongs, And lift a reverend eye and thought to Heaven ?

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


Nightingale Singing.
HER supple breast thrills out
Sharp airs, and staggers in a warbling doubt
Of dallying sweetness, hovers o'er her skill,
And folds in wavéd notes, with a trembling bill,
The pliant series of her slippery song ;
Then starts she suddenly into a throng
Of short, thick sobs,
That roll themselves over her lubric throat
In panting murmurs 'stilled out of her breast,
That ever bubbling spring, the sugar'd nest
Of her delicious soul, that there doth lie
Bathing in streams of liquid melody.


The Linnet.
Some humble heart is sore and sick with grief,
And straight thou comest with thy gentle song

To wile the sufferer from his hate or wrong,
By bringing Nature's love to his relief.
Thou churmest by the sick child's window long,

Till racking pain itself be woo'd to sleep;
And when away have vanish'd flower and leaf,
Thy lonely wailing voice for them doth weep-.

Linuet! wild linnet! God saw how much of woe, and grief, and care,

Man's faults and follies on the earth would make;
And thee, sweet singer, for his creatures' sake,
He sent to warble wildly every where,

And by our souls to love to wake.

Ob, blessed wandering spirit! unto thee Pure hearts are knit, as unto things too fair, And good, and beautiful of earth to be

Linnet! wild linnet!


On hearing a Thrush sing in a Winter Morning Walk

on his Birthday.
SING on, sweet thrush, upon the leafless bough,

Sing on, sweet bird, I listen to thy strain ;

See aged Winter, ’mid his surly reign,
At thy blithe carol clears his furrow'd brow.
So in lone Poverty's dominion drear,

Sits meek Content with light unanxious heart,
: Welcomes the rapid moments, bids them part,
Nor asks if they bring aught to hope or fear.
I thank Thee, Author of this opening day!

Thou whose bright sun now gilds yon orient skies
Riches denied, Tby boon was purer joys,
What wealth could neither give nor take away!

Yet come, thou child of poverty and care,
The mite high heaven bestow'd, that mite with
thee I'll share.


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