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GLAD sight wherever new with old
Is joined, through some dear home-born tie !
The life of all that we behold
Depends upon that mystery.
Vain is the glory of the sky,
The beauty vain of field and grove,
Unless, while with admiring eye
We gaze, we also learn to love.
WITHIN her gilded cage confined,
I saw a dazzling Belle,
A Parrot of that famous kind
Whose name is NONPAREIL.
Like beads of glossy jet her eyes ;
And, smoothed by Nature's skill,
With pearl or gleaming agate vies
Her finely-curvèd bill.
Her plumy mantle's living hues,
In mass opposed to mass,
Outshine the splendor that imbues
The robes of pictured glass.
And, sooth to say, an apter Mate
Did never tempt the choice
Of feathered thing most delicate
In figure and in voice.
But, exiled from Australian bowers,
And singleness her lot,
She trills her song with tutored powers,
Or mocks each casual note.
No more of pity for regrets
With which she may have striven !
Now but in wantonness she frets,
Or spite, if cause be given ;
Arch, volatile, a sportive bird
By social glee inspired;
Ambiticus to be seen or heard,
And pleased to be admired!
This moss-lined shed, green, soft, and dry,
Harbors a self-contented Wren,
Not shunning man's abode, though shy,
Almost as thought itself, of human ken.
Strange places, coverts unendeared,
She never tried; the very nest
In which this Child of Spring was reared,
Is warmed, thro’ Winter, by her feathery breast.
To the bleak winds she sometimes gives
A slender, unexpected strain ;
Proof that the hermitess still lives,
Though she appear not, and be sought in vain.
Say, Dora ! tell me, by yon placid moon,
If called to choose between the favored pair,
Which would you be, — the bird of the saloon,
By lady-fingers tended with nice care,
Caressed, applauded, upon dainties fed,
Or Nature's DARKLING of this mossy shed ?
BETWEEN two sister moorland rills
There is a spot that seems to lie
Sacred to flowerets of the hills,
And sacred to the sky,
And in this smooth and open dell
There is a tempest-stricken tree;
A corner-stone by lightning cut,
The last stone of a lonely hut ;
And in this dell you see
A thing no storm can e'er destroy,
The shadow of a Danish Boy.
In clouds above, the lark is heard,
But drops not here to earth for rest;
Within this lonesome nook the bird
Did never build her nest.
No beast, no bird, hath here his home;
Bees, wafted on the breezy air,
Pass high above those fragrant bells
To other flowers :— to other dells
Their burdens do they bear;
The Danish Boy walks here alone :
The lovely dell is all his own.
III. . A Spirit of noonday is he; Yet seems a form of flesh and blood; Nor piping shepherd shall he be, Nor herdboy of the wood. A regal vest of fur he wears, In color like a raven's wing: It fears not rain, nor wind, nor dew; But in the storm 't is fresh and blue
As budding pines in Spring;
His helmet has a vernal grace,
Fresh as the bloom upon his face.
A harp is from his shoulder slung ;
Resting the harp upon his knee;
To words of a forgotten tongue,
He suits its melody
Of flocks upon the neighboring hill
He is the darling and the joy;
And often, when no cause appears,
The mountain ponies prick their ears,
- They hear the Danish Boy,
While in the dell he sings alone
Beside the tree and corner-stone.
There sits he; in his face you spy No trace of a ferocious air, Nor ever was a cloudless sky So steady or so fair. The lovely Danish Boy is blest And happy in his flowery cove : From bloody deeds his thoughts are far; And yet he warbles songs of war, That seem like songs of love, For calm and gentle is his mien ; Like a dead Boy he is serene.