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They screen the cuckoo when he sings; and teach
The mother blackbird how to lead astray
The unformed spirit of the foolish boy
From thick to thick, from hedge to bay or beach,
When he would steal the huddled nest away
Of yellow bills upgaping for their food,
And spoil the song of the free solitude.
And they, at sound of the brute, insolent horn,
Hurry the deer out of the dewy morn;
And take into their sudden laps with joy
The startled hare that did but peep abroad;
And from the trodden road
Help the bruised hedgehog. And at rest, they love
The back-turned pheasant, hanging from the tree
His sunny drapery;
And handy squirrel, nibbling hastily;
And fragrant hiving bee,
So happy that he will not move, not he,
Without a song; and hidden, loving dove,
With his deep breath; and bird of wakeful glen,
Whose louder song is like the voice of life,
Triumphant o'er death's image, but whose deep,
Low, lovelier note is like a gentle wife,
A poor, a pensive, yet a happy one,
Stealing, when daylight's common tasks are done,
An hour for mother's work, and singing low
While her tired husband and her children sleep*
MAN. — Herbert,
My God, I heard this day,
For Man is every thing,
Man is all symmetry,
Nothing hath got so far,
For us the winds do blow, The earth doth rest, heaven move, and fountains flow.
Nothing we see but means our good,
The stars have us to bed;
Each thing is full of duty: Waters united are our navigation; Distinguished, our habitation; Below, our drink; above, our meat; Both are our cleanliness. Hath one such beauty? Then how all things are neat!
More servants wait on Man Than he 511 take notice of. In every path He treads down that which doth befriend him When sickness makes him pale and wan. O, mighty love! Man is one world, and hath Another to attend him.
Since, then, my God, thou hast So brave a palace built, O, dwell in it, That it may dwell with thee at last! Till then, afford us so much wit, That, as the world serves us, we may serve thee; And both thy servants be.
TOA SKYLARK. — Shelley.
Hail to thee, blithe spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest
The blue deep thou wingest,
In the golden lightning
Of the sunken sun,
The pale purple even Melts around thy flight;
Keen as are the arrows Of that silver sphere
374 TO A SKYLARK.
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 overflowed.
What thou art we know not;
What is most like thee?
Like a poet hidden
In the light of thought,
Till the world is wrought
Like a highborn maiden
In a palace tower, Soothing her love-laden Soul in secret hour With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower;
Like a glowworm golden
In a dell of dew, Scattering unbeholden Its aerial 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 those heavy-winged thieves.