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knowledge; it bowed its ear to instruction; it stood like a lamb before its teachers. It was not proud, nor envious, nor stubborn; and it had never heard of the vices and vanities of the world.
15. But the scene was changed, and I saw whom the world called honorable, and many waited for his smile. They pointed out the fields that were his, and talked of the silver and gold that he had gathered; they admired the stateliness of his domes, and extolled the honor of his family.
16. As I passed along, I heard the complaints of the laborers who had reaped down his fields, and the cries of the poor, whose covering he had taken away; but the
, sound of feasting and revelry was in his apartments, and the unfed beggar came tottering from his door. But he considered not that the cries of the oppressed were continually entering into the ears of the Most High.
17. And when I knew that this man was once the teachable child that I had loved, the beautiful infant that I had gazed upon with delight, I said in my bitterness, “I have seen an end of all perfection;" and I laid my mouth in the dust.
LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY.
XLII.-OSSIAN'S ADDRESS TO THE SUN.
1. Othou that rollest above, round as the shield of my fathers! Whence are thy beams, O sun? thy everlasting light! Thou comest forth in thy awful beauty; the stars hide themselves in the sky; the moon, cold and pale, sinks in the western wave. But thou thyself movest alone; who can be a companion of thy course?
2. The oaks of the mountains fall; the mountains themselves decay with years; the ocean shrinks and grows again; the moon herself is lost in the heavens. But thou art forever the same, rejoicing in the brightness of thy course.
3. When the world is dark with tempests, when thunders roll and lightnings fly, thou lookest in thy beauty from the clouds and laughest at the storm. But to Ossian thon lookest in vain; for he beholds thy beams no more, whether thy yellow hair flows on the eastern clouds or thou tremblest at the gates of the west.
4. But thou art, perhaps, like me, for a season; thy years will have an end. Thou wilt sleep in thy clouds, careless of the voice of the morning. Exult, then, o sun, in the strength of thy youth — age is dark and unlovely: it is like the glimmering light of the moon when it shines through broken clouds, and the mist is on the hills, the blast of the north is on the plains, the traveler shrinks in the midst of his journey.
XLIII.—AUCTION EXTRAORDINARY. 1. I dreamed a dream in the midst of my slumbers,
And as fast as I dreamed it, it came into numbers;
The tax was as large as a man could well carry. 2. The bachelors grumbled and said 'twas no use,
'Twas horrid injustice and horrid abuse,
3. A crier was sent through the town to and fro,
To rattle his bell and his trumpet to blow,
Of every description, all flocked to the sale. 4. The auctioneer then in his labor began,
And called out aloud, as he held up a man,
XLIV.-THE MOCKING-BIRD OF AMERICA.
1. The American mocking-bird is the prince of all song birds, being altogether unrivaled in the extent and variety of his vocal powers; and besides the fullness and melody of his original notes, he has the faculty of imitating the notes of all other birds, from the humming-bird to the eagle.
2. Pendant states that he heard a caged one imitate the mewing of a cat and the creaking of a sign in high winde. Barrington says his pipes come nearest to the nightingale of any bird he ever heard. The description, however, given by Wilson, in his own inimitable manner, as far excels Pennant and Barrington as the bird excels his fellow songster.
3. Wilson tells us that the ease, elegance and rapidity of his movements, the animation of his eye, and the intelligence he displays in listening to and laying up lessons, marks the peculiarity of his genius. His voice is full, strong and musical, and capable of almost every modulation, from the clear, mellow tones of the wood thrush to the savage scream of the bald eagle.
4. In measure and accents he faithfully follows his originals, while in strength and sweetness of expression he greatly improves upon them. In his native woods, upon a dewy morning, his song rises above every coinpetitor; for others appear merely inferior accompaniments.
5. His own notes are bold and full, and varied, seemingly, beyond all limits. They consist of short expressions of two, three, or at most five or six, syllables, generally uttered with great emphasis, rapidly, and continued with undiminished ardor for half an hour at a time.
6. While singing, he expands his tail, glistening with white, keeping time to his own music; and the buoyant gayety of his action is no less fascinating than his song. He sweeps around with enthusiastic ecstacy; he mounts and descends, as his song swells or dies away; he bounds aloft with the celerity of an arrow, as if to recover or recall his very soul, expired in the last elevated strain.
7. A bystander might suppose that the whole feathered tribe had assembled together on a trial of skill each striving to produce his utmost effort — so perfect
are his imitations. He often deceives the sportsman, and even birds themselves are sometimes imposed upon by this admirable mimic.
8. In confinement he loses little of the power or energy of his song. He whistles for the dog: Cæsar starts up, wags his tail, and runs to meet his master. He cries like a hurt chicken, and the hen hurries about with feathers on end to protect her injured brood.
9. He repeats the tune taught him, though it be of considerable length, with perfect accuracy. He runs over the notes of the canary and the red-bird with such superior execution and effect that the mortified songsters confess his triumph by their immediate silence. His fondness for variety, some suppose, injures his song.
10. His imitation of the brown thrush is often interrupted by the crowing of cocks; and his exquisite warblings after the bluebird are mingled with the screaming of swallows or the cackling of hens. During moonliglit both in the wild and tame state, he sings the whole night long. The hunters, in their nocturnal excursions, know that the moon is rising the instant they hear his delightful solo.
11. Barrington attributes, in part, the exquisiteness of the nightingale's song to the silence of the night; but if so, what are we to think of the bird which, in the open glare of day, overpowers and often silences all competition? The natural notes of the American mocking-bird are similar to those of the brown thrush.
JOHN J. AUDUBON.
XLV.—THE MOCKING-BIRD'S SONG.
1. Early on a pleasant day
In the poet's month of May,