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SONNETS AND OTHER POEMS

ON

BIRDS, INSECTS, AND FLOWERS.

HUMMING BIRDS.

The insect birds that suck nectareous juice
From straightest tubes of curly-petal'd flowers,
Or catch the honey-dew that falls profuse
Through the soft air, distillid in viewless showers,
Whose colours seem the very
Or parting rays of fading diadems :-

souls of gems,

I have but seen their feathers, that is all.
As much as we can know of poets dead
Or living; but the gilded plumes that fall
Float on the earth, or in the wind dispread
Go everywhere to beautify the breeze.
Sweet wind, surcharged with treasures fair as these,

I may not feel :-I never may behold
The spark of life, that trimm'd in garb so bright
That flying quintessence of ruby, gold,
Mild emerald, and lucid chrysolite.
Yet am I glad that life and joy were there,
That the small creature was as blithe as fair.

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THE CRICKET.

The Naturalist of the Supplement to the British Almanack tells me that Crickets rusticate in Summer, and return to their firesides in Winter. I would I knew this for a fact.

Αποσπάσματα φυσικα.-1843. .

WHERE art thou, merry whistler of the hearth ?
What time the grate is stuff?d with arid moss,
I miss thy shrill monotony of mirth,
And do not love the bar's ferruginous gloss,
When summer nights are blinking-dark and cold,
And the dim taper cheerless to behold.

I thought thee sleeping in some cranny snug,
Insensible to human weal or woe,
Till earlier night bids shake the lazy rug,
And lifts the poker for decisive blow.
But thou hast left thy ashy winter mansion
To air thy crisp-cased wings in wide expansion.

If I should see thee in thy summer dress,
'Tis odds if I should know thee, winter friend!

The love I have not, but revere no less,
That can so closely to thy ways attend.
And glad am I the cricket has a share
Of the wide summer, and the ample air.

LINES

WRITTEN OPPOSITE A DRAWING OF A PARROT AND BUTTERFLY.

BRIGHT creatures are ye, bird and butterfly, The joyous progeny of the breeding sun, Who work'd below, his “ 'prentice hand to try," On topaz, ruby, and carnelian. Then, breathing upwards, first essay'd the rose, Sweet emanation of the soul of earth : Then would the gilded fly its wings disclose, Proud of the beauty of its gorgeous birth. But brightest gems would murmur, if they might, Because for woman, not themselves, they glow. Blest are the insects, brood of warmth and light, Who feel their life, how brief they cannot know; But happier far the bird that can repeat Sweet words, by sweeter lips made doubly sweet.

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