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THERE is a bird, who by his coat,
And by the hoarseness of his note,
Might be supposed a crow;
A great frequenter of the church,
Where, bishop-like, he finds a perch,
And dormitory too.
Above the steeple shines a plate,
That turns, and turns, to indicate
From what point blows the weather;
Look up your brains begin to swim,
"Tis in the clouds-that pleases him,
He chooses it the rather.
Fond of the speculative height,
Thither he wings his airy flight,
And thence securely sees
The bustle and the raree-show,
That occupy mankind below,
Secure, and at his ease.
You think, no doubt, he sits and muses
On future broken bones and bruises,
If he should chance to fall.
No; not a single thought like that
Employs his philosophic pate,
Or troubles it at all.
He sees that this great round-about,"
The world, with all its motley rout,
Church, army, physic, law;
Its customs, and its businesses,
Is no concern at all of his,
And says-what says he?-Caw.
Thrice happy bird! I too have seen
Much of the vanities of men;
And, sick of having seen 'em,
Would cheerfully these limbs resign
For such a pair of wings as thine,
And such a head between 'em.
WHAT ail'd thee, Robin, that thou could'st pursue
A beautiful creature,
That is gentle by nature!
Beneath the summer sky
From flower to flower let him fly;
"Tis all that he wishes to do.
The cheerer thou of our indoor sadness,
He is the friend of our summer gladness;
What hinders, then, that ye should be
Playmates in the sunny weather,
And fly about in the air together!
His beautiful bosom is drest
In crimson as bright as thine own;
If thou would'st be happy in thy vest,
O pious bird! whom man loves best,
Love him, or leave him alone!
WELCOME, Welcome, feather'd stranger,
Now the sun bids nature smile;
Safe arrived, and free from danger,
Welcome to our blooming isle!
Still twitter on my lonely roof,
And hail me at the dawn of day,
Each morn the recollected proof
Of time that ever fleets away.
Fond of sunshine, fond of shade,
Fond of skies serene and clear,
Ev'n transient storms thy joy invade
In fairest seasons of the year:
What makes thee seek a milder clime,
What bids thee shun the wintry gale,
How know'st thou thy departing time?
Hail! wondrous bird! hail, Swallow, hail!
Sure something more to thee is given,
Than myriads of the feather'd race,
Some gift divine, some spark from heaven,
That guides thy flight from place to place:
Still freely come, still freely go,
And blessings crown thy vigorous wing,
May thy rude flight meet no rude foe,
Delightful messenger of Spring.