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Poem by Sidney Lanier

The Mocking Bird

    SUPERB and sole, upon a plumed spray 
        That o'er the general leafage boldly grew, 
        He summ'd the woods in song; or typic drew 
    The watch of hungry hawks, the lone dismay 
    Of languid doves when long their lovers stray, 
        And all birds' passion-plays that sprinkle dew 
        At morn in brake or bosky avenue. 
    Whate'er birds did or dreamed, this bird could say. 
    Then down he shot, bounced airily along 
    The sward, twitched-in a grasshopper, made song 
        Midflight, perched, primped, and to his art again. 
        Sweet Science, this large riddle read me plain: 
            How may the death of that dull insect be 
            The life of yon trim Shakspere on the tree? 

Sidney Lanier

Sidney Lanier's other poems:
  1. Nilsson
  2. A Sea-Shore Grave. To M. J. L.
  3. A Song of the Future
  4. Strange Jokes
  5. The Dove

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