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BIRDS IN SUMMER.

85. BIRDS IN SUMMER.
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 bcon,
That open to sun, and stars, and moon;
That open unto the bright blue sky,
And the frolicsome winds as they wander by.

They have left their nests in the forest-bough,
Those homes of delight they need not now
And the young and the old they wander out,
And traverse their green world round about:
And hark ! at the top of this leafy hall,
How one to the other in love they call.
Come up! come up !" they seem to say,
" Where the topmost twigs in the breezes sway.”

“Come up, come up! for the world is fair
Where the merry leaves dance in the summer air.”
And the birds below give back the cry,
“ We come, we come to the branches high.”
How pleasant the lives of the birds must be,
Living in love in a leafy tree !
And, away through the air what joy to go,
And to look on the bright green earth below!

How pleasant the life of a bird must he,
Skimming about on the breezy sea,
Cresting the billows like silvery foam,
Then wheeling away to its cliff-built home!

BIRDS IN SUMMER.

101

What joy it must be to sail, upborne
By a strong, free wing, through the rosy morn;
To meet the young sun face to face,
And pierce like a shaft the boundless space;

To pass through the bowers of the silver cloud;
To sing in the thunder-halls aloud;
To spread out the wings for a wild, free flight
With the upper-cloud winds,-oh, what delight!
Oh, what would I give, like a bird, to go,
Right on through the arch of the sun-lit bow,
And see how the water-drops are kist
Into green and yellow, and amethyst !

How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Wherever it listeth, there to flee;
To go, when a joyful fancy calls,
Dashing adown 'mong the waterfalls ;
Then to wheel about with its mates at play,
Above and below and among the spray,
Hither and thither, with screams as wild
As the laughing mirth of a rosy child !

What joy it must be, like a living breeze,
To flutter about ’mid the flowering trees;
Lightly to soar, and to see beneath
The wastes of the blossoming purple heath,
And the yellow furze, like fields of gold
That gladdened some fairy region old!
On mountain tops, on the billowy sea,
On the leafy stems of the forest tree,
Ilow pleasant the life of a bird must be !

MARY HOWITT.

102

THE WOODMAN AND HIS DOG.

86. THE WOODMAN AND HIS DOG.
Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcerned
The cheerful haunts of man, to wield the axe,
And drive the wedge in yonder forest drear,—
From morn till eve his solitary task.
Shaggy, and lean, and shrewd, with pointed ears
And tail cropped short, half lurcher and half cur,
His dog attends him. Close behind his heel
Now creeps he slow; and now, with many a frisk
Wide scampering, snatches he the drifted snow
With ivory teeth, or ploughs it with his snout,
Then shakes his powdered coat, and barks for joy.

COWPER.

87. LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP, THE SUNSHINE

OF THE HEART.
I LOVE the cheering sunlight

Of love and friendship's smile-
They make this world a home of bliss,

And all its care beguile;
When my onward path looks dark,

I turn to their bright ray,
And find that each fond glance has power

To chase the gloom away.
I love the gentle music

Of dear affection's voice-
It wakes each thought to ecstacy,

And bids my heart rejoice.
The proud may frown upon me,

I care not for their pride,
For I can smile at all the world
With true friends by my side!

MARY BURROUGB.

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Our bugles sang truce—for the nightcloud had lower'd,

And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky; And thousands had sunk on the ground overpower'd,

The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.

When reposing that night on my pallet of straw,

By the wolf-scaring faggot, that guarded the slain, At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw,

And thrice ere the morning I dreamt it again.

Methought from the battle-field's dreadful array,

Far, far I had roam'd on a desolate track : 'Twas Autumn, and sunshine arose on the way

To the home of my fathers, that welcom'd me back.

I flew to the pleasant fields traversed so oft

In life's morning march, when my bosom was young; I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft, And knew the sweet strain that the corn-reapers | sung.

Then pledged we the wine-cup, and fondly I swore, From my home and my weeping friends never to

part; My little ones kiss'd me a thousand times o'er,

And my wife sobb'd aloud in her fulness of heart

“Stay, stay with us,-rest, thou art weary and worn;"

And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay ;But sorrow return'd with the dawning of morp, And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.

CAMPBELL.

104

THE GERMAN BALLAD SINGER..

89. THE GERMAN BALLAD SINGER.

LIKE a passing bird with a sweet wild song,

Thou hast come to my native land; And amid the noisy crowded streets

Of the stranger thou dost stand : And thou pourest forth a ballad lay

Of the land where the laden vine Dips its rich ripe fruit and its sheltering leaves

In thine own beloved Rhine.

'Tis a tale of the deeds of other times

Of the proud high hearts of old ; i
Which thy mother, thine infant eyes to close,

At the gloamin' often told :
Of a craggy steep, and a castle strong

Of a warder drunk with wine ;
And a valorous knight and his ladye-love,

By thine own beloved Rhine.

Proud singer! I see thy flashing eyes,

Thou art thinking on that river;
The rush of its waters deep, and strong,

Shall dwell in thine ear for ever:
Thou art sitting in dreams by that stream afar,

And a fresh, bright wreath you twine Of the happy flowers that for ever blow,

By thine own beloved Rhine.

Tlou hast changed thy song to a soft low strain,

And thy cheeks are wet with tears; The home of thy youth in thy fatherland

'Neath its sheltering tree appears !

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