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And cannach tufts, his wonderful abode.
Sometimes, suspended at the limber end
Of plane-tree spray, among the broad-leaved shoots,
The tiny hammock swings to every gale;
Sometimes in closest thickets 'tis concealed;
Sometimes in hedge luxuriant, where the brier,
The bramble, and the crooked plum-tree branch
Warp through the thorn, surmounted by the flowers
Of climbing vetch and honeysuckle wild,
All undefaced by Art's deforming hand.
But mark the pretty bird himself! How light
And quick is every motion, every note!
How beautiful his plumes, his red-tinged head,
His breast of brown! and see him stretch his wing,
A beauteous fan of golden spokes it seems.
Oft on the thistle's tuft he, nibbling, sits,
Light as the down; then, ʼmid a flight of downs,
He wings his way, piping his shrillest call.
WHEN snowdrops die, and the green primrose leaves
Announce the coming flower, the blackbird's note,
Mellifluous, rich, deep-toned, fills all the vale,
And charms the ravished ear. The hawthorn bush,
New-budded, is his perch. There the grey dawn
He hails; and there, with parting light, concludes
His melody. There, when the buds begin
To break, he lays the fibrous roots; and, see,
His jetty breast embrowned,- the rounded clay
His jetty breast has soiled: but, now complete,
His partner, and his helper in the work,
Happy assumes possession of her home;
While he, upon a neighbouring tree, his lay,
More richly full, melodiously renews.
When twice seven days have run, the moment snatch
That she has flitted off her charge, to cool
Her thirsty bill, dipt in the babbling brook;
Then silently, on tip-toe raised, look in,
Admirel five cupless acorns, darkly specked,
Delight the eye, warm to the cautious touch.
In seven days more expect the fledgeless young,
Five gaping bills. With busy wing, and eye
Quick darting, all alert, the parent pair
Gather the sustenance which Heaven bestows.
But music ceases, save at dewy fall
Of eve, when, nestling o'er her brood, the dam
Has stilled them all to rest: or at the hour
Of doubtful dawning grey; then from his wing
Her partner turns his yellow bill, and chants
His solitary song of joyous praise.
WITHIN a thick and spreading hawthorn bush
That overhung a mole-hill large and round, I heard, from morn to morn, a merry thrush
Sing songs at sunrise, while I drank the sound With joy ;-and often, an intruding guest,
I watched her secret toils, from day to day,
How well she warped the moss to form her nest,
And modelled it within with wood and clay. And by and bye, like heath-bells gilt with dew,
There lay her shining eggs, as bright as flowers, Ink-spotted over shells of green and blue;
And there I witnessed, in the summer hours, A brood of nature's minstrels chirp and fly, Glad as the sunshine and the smiling sky.
The wren through winter's gloomy hours
Sings cheerily; nor yet hath lost
His blitheness, chilled by pinching frost;
Nor yet is forced, for warmth, to cleave
To caverned nook or straw-built eave.
Sing, little bird ! sing on! designed
A lesson for our anxious kind ;-
That we, like thee, with hearts content,
May take the blessings God hath sent ;
His bounty trust, perform His will,
Nor antedate uncertain ill.
Beside the red-breast's note, one other strain,
One summer strain, in wintry days is heard :
Amid the leafless thorn the merry wren,
When icicles hang dripping from the rock,
Pipes her perennial lay: even when the flakes
Broad on her pinions fall, she lightly flies
Athwart the shower, and sings upon the wing.
LORD, it belongs not to my care,
Whether I die or live; To love and serve thee is
share, And this thy grace must give.
If life be long, I will be glad,
That I may long obey;
If short, yet why should I be sad
To soar to endless day?
Christ leads me through no darker rooms
Than He went through before; He that unto God's kingdom comes
Must enter by His door.
Come, Lord, when grace has made me meet
Thy blessed face to see;
For if thy work on earth be sweet,
What will thy glory be?
Then shall I end my sad complaints, ,
And weary, sinful days,
And join with the triumphant saints,
Who sing Jehovah's praise.
My knowledge of that life is small,
The eye of faith is dim;
But 'tis enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with Him.
Who are they, clothed in radiant white,
That stand around yon golden throne; Their garments of celestial light,
Pure with a lustre not their own?
These are the saints, who once below
Walked in the path their Master trod; Midst pain, and mockery, and woe,
And scorching flames, they sought their God.
Through His dear might who once was slain,
Firm at the burning stake they stood, And washed, from every guilty stain,
Their garments in His precious blood.
Therefore around the throne they stand,
And in His holy temple shine; Rich in the joy of His right hand,
Robed in His righteousness divine.
There they can never hunger more,
Nor ask the cooling draught in vain; For He will living waters pour,
And heal from every earthly pain.
In those blessed realms of endless day,
The Lamb shall all their wants supply; And God's own hand shall wipe away
The falling tear from every eye.