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Thrice welcome, darling of the spring!
Even yet thou art to me
No bird! but an invisible thing,
A voice, a mystery.
The same, whom in my school-boy days
I listen'd to: that cry
Which made me look a thousand ways, In bush, and tree, and sky.
To seek thee did I often rove
Though woods and on the
And thou wert still a hope, a love;
Still long'd for, never seen.
And I can listen to thee yet,
That golden time again.
TO THE OWL.
OWL! that lovest the boding sky;
In the murky air,—
What sawest thou there?
For I heard, through the fog, thy screaming!"The maple's head
Was glowing red,
And red were the wings of the autumn sky ; But a redder gleam
Rose from the stream
That dabbled my feet, as I glided by!"
Owl! that lovest the stormy sky!
Speak, oh! speak!
What crimsoned thy beak,
And hung on the lids of thy staring eye? ""Twas blood, 'twas blood!
And it rose like a flood,
And for this I scream'd, as I glided by !"
Owl! that lovest the midnight sky!
Where are the twain ?
Look! while the moon is hurrying by!—
"In the thicket's shade
The one is laid,
You may see, through the boughs, his moveless
Owl! that lovest the darken'd sky!
A step beyond,
From the silent pond
There rose a low and murmuring cry:"On the water's edge,
Through the trampled sedge,
A bubble burst, and gurgled by:
But I look'd from the brim,
And I saw, in the weeds, a dead man lie!"
Owl! that lovest the moonless sky!
With the faggot's rays,
Look! oh, look! what seest thou there?
Owl! what's this,
That snort and hiss,
And why do thy feathers shiver and stare ?———
"Tis he! 'tis he!
He sits 'mid the three,
And a breathless woman is on the stair!"
Owl! that lovest the cloudy sky!
Where clank the chains
Through the prison panes,
What there thou hearest tell to me?—
"In her midnight dream,
"Tis a woman's scream,
And she calls on one-on one of Three !"
Look in once more,
Through the grated door :
""Tis a soul that prays
in agony !"
Owl! that hatest the morning sky!
On thy pinions gray,
I must pray in charity.
From the midnight chime,
To morning prime,
The above splendid lines were written in reference to a murder, whose details somewhat disgustingly occupied the public mind, in 1824.