Here is the triumph, “in special,” of Man's creativeness over that of Earth! Wherein a goldfinch leaping pretilie We should like to see the old Dame or Fro bough to bough.” any of her Poet-Birds surpass this charm. The little bird begins to sing ingly refined mode of populating a Hea

“ So passing sweetly, that by manifold ven! But yet, withal, it is the legiti. It was more pleasaunt than I could devise." mate procreation of

Thereby ravished into paradise, he sat “ Music married to immortal verse," him down upon “the sote grasse” to and the logical deduction from our “fore- drink in tranquilly the fullness of the new gone conclusions,” that while Earth’s bliss; and reclined thus, his heart begins music-notes are embodied in the forms of to chaunt of itself-like wind-stirred Birds, those of Man become angels ! boughs—concerning this song of its little

Birds love best “ the bedabbled morn,” Brother which so moved it. Above all and their boldest, freest song bursts images of soft delight, that rippling acforth in wild, sweet garrulous greeting cord was to the sun—while their evening hymns are plaining low and mellow !

“ More pleasaunt to me by many fold

Our Poets have not been remarkable for see

Than meat or drinke or any other thing,

Thereto the herber was so fresh and cold, ing the sun rise. They permit

The wholesome savours eke so comforting, “ Full many a glorious morn

That as I deemed sith the beginning
To flatter the mountain-tops”

Of the world was never seene er than unreproved of them. They rather affect So pleasaunt a ground of none earthly

man !” the ghostly watches of the moon, and though given to becoming somewhat You perceive that Chaucer and his Goldmellow,” too, of evenings, “the wild dis- finch might both have sprung from a very guise has been apt to almost antick” them. Halcyon's nest” of spiritual “ Loafer

dom !" Indeed, “Cup us till the world goes round," was ever the favorite chorus of their of him who first with harmony informed

the placid mein mellow vespers. God bless them! Poor The language of our fathersChaucer is not the only one of whom it

seems to have marked him peculiarly as might be said

Prince and Founder of this world-wide “That mark upon his lip is wine !" Order of “the lovers of the quiet.” He The song.bird with its pipes a-weary absolutely and unblushingly confesses sips, for refreshing, the fiery dews in- the whole implication in “ The Romaunt spired of the sun. They, as well to of the Rose” – awake the frost-bound blood or rouse the

" And then wist I and saw full well sacred madness, have quaffed at this That Idlenesse me served well, Thespian spring,

That put me in such jolitie.” Of which sweet swans must drink before But then, who does not love that

they sing Their true-paced numbers and their holy

• jolitie” when he understands that lays."

“There was many a bird singing Not a strictly Washingtonian sentiment,

Throughout the yerde all thringing,” by the way, but it will do, since Birds “is fit for treasons, stratagems,” &c. and Poets are accountable for it—though Ay, he is the veriest hind that ever so staid a Poet as Wordsworth talks turned up clod, who has not a fountain about “ Thou drunken Lark !" Birds of sweet apprehensions stirred within are proverbially improvident and regard- him when he hears, mellowed through ful of the injunction, “give thyself no

the gray rists of Time, the rhythm of thought for the morrow, what ye shall “ These birdes that I you devise eat, or what ye shall drink”—for with They song her song as faire and well them “ sufficient to the day is the joy

As angels doon espirituell.” thereof !” That therein Birds and Poets Ah, exquisite Idlers !-would that in this do most agree, the Lay of “ The Flower busy, froward, vexing “ Play,” the only and Leaf" shall bear us witness. The “acts” for those like you might be to gentle Poet, idling through an embowered

Sit apart and sing, Dream-land, becomes

And smoothe your golden hair !" 46 - Ware of the fairest medler tree To the Bird, this gay, blissful Aiden is That ever yet in all my life I see. the reality of sunshiny life--to the pale

Poet, alas! the “ semblant shadow” of a “ Amidst the young green wood of Paradise, taunt. Yet, withal, his brave “faith of Such store of birds therein yshrouded were, gentleness” lives too far on high--too Chaunting in shade their sundrie melodie, self-sustained in its own quiet might to until the very hills reverberate, and lust for base appliances. The making meadow grasses dance in cadence—then melody to feed his own heart's yearning might he hear the Mocking Bird triumph, brings to him

ing! Loud above them all its notes would " A greater content in course of true de- swell

light, Than to be thirsty after tottering honor, “With wanton heed and giddy cunning Or tie his treasure up in silken bags The melting voice through mazes running, To please the fool and death.”

Untwisting all the chains that tie

The hidden soul of harmony!” But however charming these general “similitudes” of the Birds and Poets may Every trill and quaver of a rival song its be to us, it is necessary for us to remem. victorious, Elfin skill would reproduce, ber that there is such a thing as being until each separate throat was choked “ cloyed of sweetness” known in the with envy. Ab, then the joy and glory world! We must descend to particulars of its conquest comes! Out of the silence in illustrating our theory of concordance. there would go such a “storm of music," We have said that song-birds were the

Such harmonious madness Anti-types of they who “ shall be ac From its throat would flow," counted Poet Kings.” By this we mean that-for each of the Human Poets who his dreams !"

as might “ shake the dull oblivion from has illustrated the external relations of Humanity distinctly from himself-or, in

By the way, in this connection we will other words, who has seen and sung of down by some dull doubter as a mere

quote authority, lest we might be set things as they are--and been purely creative our mother furnishes among

rhapsodist. Mr. Audubon is the highest Birds


such subjects, and he says: a distinct Anti-type. For instance-as the most immediate and convenient ex They are not the soft sounds of the ample—what sentient thing so strikingly flute or of the hautboy that I hear, but the illustrates Shakspeare as the Mocking sweeter notes of Nature's own music. The Bird ? Though circumstances rendered mellowness of the song, the varied moduthe interposition of a « Discoverer"

lations and gradations, the extent of its necessary to bring to light the New compass, the great brilliancy of execution, World, which alone could furnish the in the world that possesses all the musical

are unrivaled. There is probably nó bird prototype of such a Genius, yet it is not qualifications of this king of song, who has the less true that it has been found. And derived all from Nature's self.” here we, daringly perhaps, present it. The Mocking Bird is the Monarch of

Shakspeare was diverse as a peopled Earth's song-imperial over all the choir world; all moods, all thoughts, all huof woods and plains that lie beneath the mors of all men, alike were his. The stars--as Shakspeare is over that more

verisimilitudes and Protean versatility of spiritual choir which,

the Mocking Bird are quite as strange. “In the rapid plumes of song

Indeed, its power of adaptation is most Clothed itself sublime and strong."

remarkable. The same authority quoted

above represents it in its native and conShakspeare is more human than human- genial home--the dew-dropping, odor, ity itself in the subtilty of his mimetic breathing South-as the most gentle and art another “nature that shapes man confiding of creatures. We can bear better.” The Mocking Bird in its native eye-witness of this; for here it is known powers of song surpasses all other birds; and cherished in the fraternal spirit of and even when imitating them,

our Philosophy, and is as fearless, fa" All that ever was, miliar and domestic as a household sprite. Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music We have seen it, as he represents, place doth surpass.”

its nest openly upon the fence by the side On some fair morning, when our Mother of the public road, and have often thrown wears such holiness of smiling peace crumbs to it as it hopped about the doorupon her face that the dreamy Poet wan sill. But like all vigorous natures, it is dering forth might be pardoned for sup- restless and a wanderer—though, with a posing that he was

sagacious and mysterious sympathy or

apprehension, it never pushes its migra- faculty of giving prestige to things tions beyond the vicinage of Humanity (ahem!!) which is peculiar to us told of some sort or other. It is too conscious them what a miracle it was, and took the and fastidious ever to waste its sweetness. fresh, young girls out with us to hear We remember it as the pioneer in South- its star-felt strathspeys quiver through the ern Kentucky; for it always waits until Moon. Then Mocking Birds became the conquering axe has made the Eden of “the rage.” No lady's boudoir was commeadows, clover-fields and gardens ready plete without one caged, and all the bad, for its coming; and in this character it is vagrant boys in the country were drafted the very antipode of the Bird of Louisiana. into service to find their nests and young. We saw the first one that made its ap- And it was wonderful to see how-in the pearance in the neighborhood of our precise ratio of the persecution they were native town. We were quite a young- subjected to under this new mania—their ling, with that old Saxon-robber impulse wariness and foresight were increased. of destructiveness rioting in our veins. We ourselves, for the purpose of obtain. We had our first gun in hand, and it was ing a closer insight into their habits, it with the fierce exultation of our savage must be confessed, were numbered among blood that we saw the first victim flutter- their persecutors. Often have we, with ing plumb from the tree-top, or the death a particular individual in our eye, which spring of a stricken Hare. Racing through had shown surpassing powers, (for they the meadows, slaying and to slay, one differ in this respect as men do !) spent morning we saw afar off upon a tall tree a whole day in the fields watching and a graceful Bird, with white upon its wings, following its every movement, in the hope fluttering about as though at a loss whe- of discovering its nest. But though there ther it would be safe to alight and sit still. were hundreds of others passing—in the We at once knew it for a stranger; for suburbs of a town—the shrewd creature every gesture, quip and whim of every would seem to have singled us as a pryparticular denizen of wood and plain ing inquisitor from all the rest, and, do around us was familiar to us as our own what we might, would baffle us hour five fingers and toes. We forthwith in- after hour, and day after day. We came, hospitably swore that we would possess after a while, to regard their sagacity as ourselves of the wanderer dead or alive. something wizard-like-inscrutably he. We attempted to approach it—in a mo- yond our ken. So it was, really. The same ment it was gone to another tree-we surprising prowess which made it supreme followed with more caution and as little in its own life otherwise, made it thus success—again and again we tried. In here under the compulsion of circuma word, no Jack-o-Lantern ever led stances. So when impulse and poverty simple lout of a boor so devious and had driven Shakspeare to London, his difficult a dance, through thickets, quag- masterly genius mated itself with circummires, over rude break-neck grounds, stances as he found them, (so far as was as we were drawn to traverse in that necessary,)—with the base huckstering futile chase. We reached home weary, elements he saw to be all-powerful around dusty and forlorn, cursing the sober the theatres—until, interfusing his own circumstantial wit of this wild, fleeting “ candid nature” into those about him, passenger. We saw it often after- be elevated them upon his triumphs into wards, but never gave it another chase. dignity, as well as awed respect. But Its mate soon came, and the Pioneers this facility of adaptation illustrates only built their nice tangled house in some a phase of its Shakspearian character. secret place--and as brood after brood Shakspeare was the genius of " infinite huwent forth, it came to be, that all the mors"-Jack Falstaff, Bardolph, Shallow, region round about so

Nym, et ii omnes—with Puck, Ariel, Ti“ Resounded

tania and Oberon thrown in--stand like Their anthems sweet devised of love's chiseled laughter upon the monumental prayse,

front of Time. Our feathered Shakspeare That all the woods theyr echoes back re can, in its sphere, contend for nothing so bounded,

sublimely fixed—but that it is a practical, As if they knew the meaning of their lays.” habitual humorist of the rarest water, we At first the dull, Genius loci, did not re can testify. gard this witching revelation of enchant We have seen it alight amidst a squad ed land that was giving its slow-paced of purple Martins pluming themselves hours quick wings, until we--with that upon the bare topmost boughs of a soli

ary old oak, in the early sunshine. The We are smilingly content to rest all Martins would turn their heads—stare upon this interpretation, so that–in the soberly at the intruder-half-spread their Poetical sense—it include the pregnant wings quickly, and twitter to each meaning of other in astonishment. The unbidden

“ The infantine familiar clasp guest would cock his eye, stare, throw

Of things divine.” out his wings and twitter too-aping their every gesture and note so ex And then again, who but Milton, “ blind actly that it was impossible to tell who Thamyris” among the “ Prophets old” was who! The Martins evidently much should be a type of the Nightingale ? surprised, would throw out their wings a

Who does not remember that delicate and little wider, and chirp and twitter in some- touching comparison instituted by him. what louder concert. The Mocker would self in allusion to his blindness? Who, coolly ape each sound and gesture. The other than he, could under such circumsimple Birds would seem astonished, and stances of blank, rayless desolationbounce away into the air with short poised on his own supreme spirituality circlings and vociferous clamors--ques -have loftily fed tioning each other what all this meant.

on thoughts that voluntary move The mocking Elf would spring up too Harmonious numbers, as the wakeful bird and clamor loudly and more clear than Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid, they in their own tones—until at last, Tunes her nocturnal note.” after a deal of fluttering and to-do, the All minds must be impressed by the Martins would come back and quietly settle round him-seeming to have con

strange excelling appositeness of the cluded that he must be “ one of them !”

“ similitude” in this case. Ah, Soul of There he would sit awhile deliberately

the Beautiful! thy doing all they did-saying all they said “ Cloudy wings with sun-fire garlanded," -till some new freak' would beset his volatile humor-when, to the sudden of Milton didst thou pass from that sad

“ Before the spirit-sighted countenance shriek of a Hawk in their midst, the simple but valiant Birds would dip swiftly Beyond whose night he saw with a dejected downward, and with shrieks of rage come mein." swooping back to punish their imaginary And what a starry“ night” was that thou foe! Nothing was to be seen but the didst disclose to him? How great a stranger demurely chirruping their own firmament, moving and mingled, popusoft language just where he sat before. lous with burning spheres! And what The poor birds would appear evidently to feel that there was something “ more

a dawn is that which has leaped forth than met the eye”—than they could music over Earth! We see it to have

from it-in flames, in purple, and in understand in all this—and would scatter been both with Milton and his own loved in affright and leave him sole occupant Philomel, that their midnight song of the perch. This was what the knave seemed to have desired, and would forth

-begins anew with commence pouring his whimsically Its strain when other harmonies stopt short glorious gushing melodies until that old Leave the dinned air vibrating silvery.” tree-top seemed to be populous with in. To both, the prerogative has been given, finite various throats—now piping in as a dominion over that ominous, awful measured, slow succession their peculiar pause 'twixt Life and Light, strains—then hurried and rushing, tramp. “To satiate the hungry dark with melody.” ling with musical tread upon each other's heels. We will here dismiss this par. With both it is a solemn minstrelsyticular contrast. We are fully prepared solemn and liquid from its shadowy to expect, that in this instance as well as source-pregnant and high as prophesy. in those which are to follow our “ Simili- The Nightingale tudes”—our whole Philosophy indeed— "The light-winged Driad of the trees," will appear to many surface-glancing minds,

sitting and singing 'neath the moon, will “ Like the man's thought dark in the in- make the long-drawn shades to stir, and fant's brain

night's deep bosom palpitate with bliss. Like aught that is which wraps what is to In its rapt song, fuent and rounded

like the roll of waters going free, the




fountain of its heart comes forth-now things else solemn and strong, love best to the tide is full and slow, up-swelling wear. In the Bird, with its plain, brown through the dusky void—then it is rip- plumes, hid in the lowly hawthorn, singpled out in low, sweet laughings, and ing to the night, who does not see a reagain burst in the shrilly ring of jubilant semblance to the Republican Poet, in his loudest symphonies. What a joy it is coarse, simple garb, retired beyond the beneath the “ visiting moon,"

reach of persecution to his humble home;

while, out of his darkness, over all the “ The singing of that happy nightingale world, In this sweet forest, from the golden close Of evening, till the star of dawn may fail, “Prophetic echoes flung dim melody.” Thus interfused upon the silentness.”

With so many and such singular points In the tender melancholy, the full, liquid of coincidence between them, who can flow of Milton's majestic measures we doubt but that the Poet felt them, and can perceive something more than an that his mild spirit yearned, and was imaginary resemblance to the character- moved by the tender drawing of affinities istics of the bird's song;

towards his tuneful Brother. He, rather And Philomel her song with tears doth than poor Keats, might have passionatesteep!"

ly pleaded : as well as the Blind Singer. The nations “So, let me be thy choir, and make and crowding eagerly around the pedestal of the Poet's fame, to do obeisance to his Upon the midnight hours. memory, bear witness that

Thy voice thy lute, thy pipe thy incense

sweet “ The mellow touch of music most doth From swingéd censers teeming ; wound

Thy shrine thy grove, thy oracle thy heat, The soule when it doth rather sigh than O pale-mouthed prophet dreaming."

sound;" and, softened down the lengthened night culiarly the favorite of the poets. They

As is Milton, so is the Nightingale peof fages, do those

are regarded alike with a gentle and deep “Sighs resound through harkless ground.” affection. Kind old Spenser has ex

pressed this for us all, and for all Time, Though this saddened, mournful earn concerning the Bird; and the Poet and estness tempers and leads the general the Bird are one. flow of his verse, yet “ L'Allegro" is contrasted with “ Il Penseroso :" he can

“ Hence, with the nightingale will I take and does smile as well as weep; and the That blessed byrd that spends her time of

parte, music of his delicate mirth

sleepe “ Falls on us like a silent dew

In songs and plaintive pleas

-." Or like those maiden showers Other coincidences—if possible, even yet Which, by the peep of day, doe strew more apparent-suggest themselves. A babtime o'er the flowers !"

“ Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do The Nightingale will not sing when beat deprived of its liberty, and dies in a The vaulty heaven so high above our cage. Here we are reminded of Milton's head.” etern indomitable devotion to human freedom. Who does not remember that glo

But the thought of Shelley at once ocrious burst of this holy enthusiasm

curs in the high place of that aerial mel

odist. Who has not, long ago, linked -The uncontrolled worth indissolubly in his memory the image of of this pure cause would kindle my rapt this Poet with that of the Skylark. One spirit

could not avoid this association, even if With such a flame of sacred vehemence,

the “ Ode to a Skylark” had never been That dumb things would be moved to sym- written. The Poet felt it to be his skiey

pathize, And the brute Earth would lend her nerves, of hearts, in the silver-footed cadences of

Brother, and greeted it out of his heart and shake.”

that most rare of exquisite strains. It Both Bird and Poet were clothed in that seems to us that the poet had uncon“ russet mantle,” which Time and all sciously thrown out his own soul upon

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