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THE LOCUST. The Locust is fierce, and strong, and grim, And an armed man is afraid of him: He comes like a winged shape of dread, With his shielded back and his armed head, And his double wings for hasty flight, And a keen, unwearying appetite. He comes with famine and fear along, An army a million million strong; The Goth and the Vandal, and dwarfish Hun, With their swarming people wild and dun, Brought not the dread that the Locust brings, When is heard the rush of their myriad wings. From the deserts of burniig sand they speed, Where the Lions roam and the Serpents breed, Far over the sea, away, away! And they darken the sun at noon of day. Like Eden the land before they find, But they leave it a desolate waste behind. The peasant grows pale when he sees them come, And standeth before them weak and dumb; For they come like a raging fire in power, And eat up a harvest in half an hour; And the trees are bare, and the land is brown, As if trampled and trod by an army down. There is terror in every monarch's eye, When he hears that his terrible foe is nigh; For he knows that the might of an armed host Cannot drive the spoiler from out his coast, And that terror and famine his land await; That from north to south 't will be desolate.
And all about my mother's door
Shine out its glittering bushes,
The mountain-water gushes.
And the bird that nestles in it;
The green and yellow linnet. Well, call the rose the queen of flowers,
And boast of that of Sharon,
And the golden rod of Aaron..
Beloved of man and woman;
That groweth on the common. Oh the Broom, the yellow Broom,
The ancient poet sung it, And dear it is on summer days
To lie at rest among it!
Thus the ravening Locust is strong and grim;
THE BROOM-FLOWER. O THE Broom, the yellow Broom,
The ancient poet sung it,
To lie at rest among it.
The flowers have not their fellow;
The crimson and the yellow.
In luxury's silken setters,
Are used for written letters.
In modern days or olden ;
Like to a garland golden.
THE EAGLE. No, not in the meadow, and not on the shore ; And not on the wide heath with furze covered o'er, Where the cry of the Plover, the hum of the bee, Give a feeling of joyful security : And not in the woods, where the Nightingale's song, From the chestnut and orange pours all the day long; And not where the Martin has built in the eaves, And the Red-breast e'er covered the children with
leaves, Shall ye find the proud Eagle! O no, come away; I will show you his dwelling, and point out his prey ! Away! let us go where the mountains are high, With tall splintered peak towering into the sky; Where old ruined castles are dreary and lone, And seem as if built for a world that is gone; There, up on the topmost tower, black as the night, Sits the old monarch Eagle in full blaze of light: He is king of these mountains : save him and his
mate, No Eagle dwells here ; he is lonely and great! Look, look how he sits! with his keen glancing eye, And his proud head thrown back, looking into the
Great bird of the wilderness ! lonely and proud,
The Nettle looked up, the Nettle looked down,
THE BIRD OF PARADISE. O LOVELY Bird of Paradise,
Rise higher yet. and higher yet,
For a stormy wind doth blow. Now up above the tempest
We are sailing in the calm, Amid the golden sunshine,
See, far below us rolling,
The storm-cloud black and wide ;
THERE was a Nettle both great and strong;
Is as an angry tide!
Thy happy lot I'll share;
On, through the sunny air! Whate'er the food thou eatest,
Bird, I will eat it too, And ere it reach the stormy earth,
Will drink with thee the dew! My father and my mother,
I'll leave them for thy sake; And where thy nest is builded,
My pleasant home will make! Is it woven of the sunshine,
And the fragrance of the spice; And cradled round with happiness?
Sweet Bird of Paradise ! O take me, take me to it,
Wherever it may be, For far into the sunshine
I'll fly away with thee!
A many years ago;
A truer tale we know.
Within the forest green;
Its very eggs bath seen.
They take no charm from thee; Thou art a creature of the earth, And not a mystery! .
“ Now," says the King-nettle," there's none like me; "I am as great as a plant can be! “ I have crushed each weak and tender root, • With the mighly power of my kingly foot; “ I have spread out my arms so strong and wide, “And opened my way on every side; "I have drawn from the earth its virtues fine, "To strengthen for me each poison-spine; “ Both morn and night my leaves I've spread, “And upon the falling dews have fed, “Till I am as great as a forest-tree; “ The great wide world is the place for me!" Said the Nettle-king in his bravery.
Just then up came a Woodman stout,
And when cold winter comes, and the water-plants
die, THE WATER.RAT.
And his little brooks yield him no longer supply,
Down into his burrow he cozily creepe, COME into the meadows, this bright summer day;
And quietly through the long winter-time sleeps The people are merrily making the hay:
Thus in summer his table by Nature is spread, There's a blithe sound of pastoral life everywhere;
And old mother Earth makes in winter his bed. And the gay Lark is carolling up in the air. And I know in the wood where the Columbine grows, And the climbing Clematis and Pink Apple-rose ; And I know where the Buglos grows blue as the sky, And the deep crimson Vetch like a wild Vine runs
THE SPARROW'S NEST. high. And I'll show you a sight you love better than these, Nay, only look what I have found ! A little field-stream overshadowed with trees,
A Sparrow's nest upon the ground;
Blown out of yonder old elm tree.
And what a medley thing it is ! blowing,
I never saw a nest like this, And the rich, plumy crests of the Meadow-sweet seem
So neatly wove with decent care, Like foam which the current has left on the stream;
Of silvery moss and shining hair; There I'll show you the brown Water-Rat at his
But put together, odds and ends, play
Picked up from enemies and friends :
Just like a little rubbish-bag!
And here is muslin, pink and green,
O never thinks the lady fair,
As she goes by with mincing air,
How the pert Sparrow over-bead,
Has robbed her gown to make its bed!
Well, here has hoarding been and hiving,
And not a little good contriving, For this little field-stream hath all good that he needs,
Before a home of peace and ease In the budding Iree-roots and the clustering reeds,
Was fashioned out of things like these ! And the snowy-flowered arrow-head thick growing
Think, had these odds and ends been brought here:
To some wise man renowned for thought, Ah, pity it is man has taught him to fear!
Some man, of men a very gem, But look at him now, how he sitteth afloat
Pray what could he have done with them?. On the broad Water-lily leaf, as in a boat. See the antics he plays! how be dives in the stream, If we had said, “Here, sir, we bring To and fro-now he chases that dancing sunbeam; You many a worthless little thing, Now he stands for a moment, as if half-perplexed, Just bits and scraps, so very small, In his frolicsome heart, to know what to do next. That they have scarcely size at all ; Ha! see now, that Dragonfly sets him astir,
" And out of these, you must contrive And he launches away like a brave mariner;
A dwelling large enough for five; See there, up the stream how he merrily rows,
Neat, warm, and snug; with comfort stored ; And the tall fragrant Calamus bows as he goes !
Where five small things may lodge and board." And now he is lost at the foot of the tree; "T is his home, and a snug little home it must be! How would the man of learning vast
And 'tis thus that the Water-Rat liveth all day,
And vowed that such a thing had been
Ah! man of learning, you are wrong;
But when the sun rose redly up
To shine for half a year,
Nor once lo disappear,
And saw where, like to man,
And where the Ermine ran.
And came where sailed the lonely Swans
Wild on their native flood; And the shy Elk grazed up the mossy hills,
And the Wolf was in the wood.
And the frosty plains like diamonds shone,
And the iced rocks also,
Till the soft south wind did blow.
And then upsprang the grass and flowers,
Sudden, and sweet, and bright; And the wild birds filled the solitade
With a fervour of delight.
For the handsome Kingfisher, go not to the tree,
ing, Where the tall, heavy Typha and Loosestrife are
growing ; By the bright little streams that all joyfully run Awbile in the shadow, and then in the sun. He lives in a hole that is quite to his mind, With the green, mossy Hazel roots firmly entwined; Where the dark Alder-bough waves gracefully o'er, And the Sword-flag and Arrow-head grow at his door. There busily, busily, all the day long, He seeks for small fishes the shallows among; For he builds his nest of the pearly fish-bone, Deep, deep in the bank far retired, and alone.
But nothing was there that pleased me more
Than when, in autumn brown, I came in the depths of the pathless woods,
To the Grey Squirrel's town.
Then the brown Water-Rat from his burrow looks
out, To see what his neighbour Kingfisher 's about; And the green Dragon-fly, flitting slowly away, Just pauses one moment to bid him good-day. O happy Kingfisher! what care should he know, By the clear, pleasant streams, as he skims to and fro, Now lost in the shadow, now bright in the sheen of the hot summer sun, glancing scarlet and green!
There were hundreds that in the hollow boles
of the old, old trees did dwell, And laid up their store hard by their door
of the sweet mast as it fell.
And with thievish snout dug up
So much as an acorn-cup!
And one and all decree,
Over hill and dale to fee.
Over hill and dale, over hill and dale,
For many a league they went; Like a troop of undaunted travellers
Governed by one consent.
THE MIGRATION OF THE GREY
SQUIRRELS. When in my youth I travelled
Throughout each north countrie,
And many a strange thing see.
Built of the drifted snow;
Nor other light did know,
For months in the winter dark;
And the blue Fox's bark.
But the Hawk and Eagle, and peering Owl,
Did dreadfully pursue ;
The more their perils grew.
A broad stream lay in view.
His cunning and bravery ;.
Unto the stream came he,
Without the least delay; .
Never was there a lovelier sight
Than that Grey Squirrels' fleet;
What fortune it would meet.
And ever and anon,
And its little steersman gone.
I saw them leap to shore;
Your wondrous works were formed as true;
THE TRUE STORY OF WEB-SPINNER.
Up in the north if thou sail with me,
Come down to this lonely river's bank,
WEB-SPINNER was a miser old,
Who came of low degree ;
And he kept bad company;
of a black felon grim; To all the country he was known,
But none spoke well of him. His house was seven stories high,
In a corner of the street, And it always had a dirty look,
When other homes were neat; Up in his garret dark he lived,
And from the windows high
Upon the passers by.
Yet many have averred,
Were often loudly heard ;
Although a few went in,
And stripped him to the skin ;
Yet mercy ne'er was shown The miser cut his body up,
And picked him bone from bone.
The dismal story true;
I tell it so to you. .
One Madgy de la Moth,
Had not gone there, in troth;
At nightfall in the street,
Dry scraps of broken meat.
With a modest tap, and low,
Like an arrow from a bow.