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"The thrush that carols at the dawn of day

From the green steeples of the piny wood;
The oriole in the elm; the noisy jay,

Jargoning like a foreigner at his food;
The blue-bird balanced on some topmost spray,

Flooding with melody the neighborhood :
Linnet and meadow-lark, and all the throng
That dwell in nests, and have the gift of song.
"You slay them all! and wherefore? for the gain

Of a scant handful more or less of wheat,
Or rye, or barley, or some other grain,

Scratched up at random by industrious feet,
Searching for worm or weevil after rain!

Or a few cherries, that are not so sweet
As are the songs these uninvited guests
Sing at their feast with comfortable breasts.
“Do you ne'er think what wondrous beings these?

Do you ne'er think who made them, and who taught The dialect they speak, where melodies

Alone are the interpreters of thought?
Whose household words are songs in many keys,

Sweeter than instrument of man e'er caught!
Whose habitations in the tree-tops even
Are halfway houses on the road to heaven!
“Think, every morning when the sun peeps througa

The dim, leaf-latticed windows of the grove,
How jubilant the happy birds renew

Their old, melodious madrigals of love! And when you think of this, remember too

'Tis always morning somewhere, and above The awakening continents, from shore to shore, Somewhere the birds are singing evermore. "Think of your woods and orchards without birds !

Of empty nests that cling to boughs and beams, As in an idiot's brain remembered words

Hang empty 'mid the cobwebs of his dreams!
Will bleat of flocks or bellowing of herds

Make up for th:e lost music, when your teams
Drag home the stingy barvest, and no more
The feathered gleaners follow to your door ?

"What! would you rather see the incessant stir

Of insects in the windrows of the hay,
And hear the locust and the grasshopper

Their melancholy hurdy-gurdies play?
Is this more pleasant to you than the whirr

Of meadow-lark, and its sweet roundelay,
Or twitter of little field-fares, as you take
Your nooning in the shade of bush and brake?

“You call them thieves and pillagers; but know

They are the wingëd wardens of your farms, Who from the cornfields drive the insidious foe,

And from your harvests keep a hundred harms;
Even the blackest of them all, the crow,

Renders good service as your man-at-arms,
Crushing the beetle in his coat of mail,
And crying havoc on the slug and snail.

How can I teach your children gentleness,

And mercy to the weak, and reverence
For Life, which, in its weakness or excess,

Is still a gleam of God's omnipotence,
Or Death, which, seeming darkness, is no less

The self-same light, although averted hence,
When by your laws, your actions, and your speech,
You contradict the very things I teach ?”

With this he closed; and through the audience went

A murmur, like the rustle of dead leaves;
The farmers laughed and nodded, and some bent

Their yellow heads together like their sheaven;
Men have no faith in fine-spun sentiment

Who put their trust in bullocks and in beeves. The birds were doomed; and, as the record shows, A bounty offered for the heads of crows.

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And so the dreadful massacre began;

O’er fields and orchards, and o'er woodland crests, The ceaseless fusillade of terror ran.

Dead fell the birds, with blood-stains on their breasta, Or wounded crept away from sight of man,

While the young died of famine in their nests ;

A slaughter to be told in groans, not words,
The very St. Bartholoniew of Birds !

The Summer came, and all the birds were dead;

The days were like hot coals; the very ground Was burned to ashes; in the orchards fed

Myriads of caterpillars, and around The cultivated fields and garden-beds

Hosts of devouring insects crawled, and found No foe to check their march, till they had made The land a desert without leaf or shade.

Devoured by worms, like Herod, was the town,

Because, like Herod, it had ruthlessly Slaughtered the Innocents. From the trees spun down

The canker-worms upon the passers-by, Upon each woman's bonnet, shawl and gown,

Who shook them off with just a little cry; They were the terror of each favorite walk, The endless theme of all the village talk.

The farmers grew impatient, but a few

Confessed their error, and would not complain,
For, after all, the best thing one can do

When it is raining, is to let it rain.
Then they repealed the law, although they knew

It would not call the dead to life again;
As school-boys, finding their mistake too late,
Draw a wet sponge across the accusing slate.
That year in Killingworth the Autumn came

Without the light of her majestic look,
The wonder of the falling tongues of Alame,

The illumined pages of his Doom's Day book.
A few lost leaves blushed crimson with their shaine,

And drowned themselves despairing in the brook,
While the wild wind went moaning everywhere,
Lamenting the dead children of the air!
But the next Spring a stranger sight was seen-

A sight that never yet by bard was sung,
As great a wonder as it would have been

If some dumb animal had found a tongue!

A wagon, overarched with evergreen,

Upon whose boughs were wicker cages hung,
All full of singing birds, came down the street,
Filling the air with music wild and sweet.
From all the country round these birds were brought,

By order of the town, with anxious quest,
And, loosened from their wicker prisons, sought

In woods and fields the places they loved best, Singing loud canticles, which many thought

Were satires to the authorities addressed, While others, listening in green lanes, averred Such lovely music never had been heard ! But blither still and louder caroled they

Upon the morrow, for they seemed to know It was the fair Almira's wedding-day;

And everywhere, around, above, below, When the Preceptor bore his bride away,

Their songs burst forth in joyous overflow, And a new heaven bent over a new earth Amid the sunny farms of Killingworth. Seven minor and recent poems, called Birds of Passage Flight the Second, are included in the above volume. Among these we find one of the most graphic and soul-stirring of the poems inspired by our late war, namely:

At anchor in Hampton Roads we lay,

On board of the Cumberland, sloop-of-war;
And at times from the fortress across the bay

The alarum of drums swept past,

Or a bugle blast
From the camp on the shore.
Then far away to the south uprose

A little feather of snow-white smoke,
And we knew that the iron ship of our foes

Was steadily steering its course

To try the force
Of our ribs of oak.

Down upon us heavily runs,

Silent and sullen, the floating fort;
Then comes a puff of smoke from her gins,

And leaps the terrible death,

With fiery breath,
From each open port.
We are not idle, but send her straight

Defiance back in a full broadside!
As hail rebounds from a roof of slate,

Rebounds our heavier hail

From each iron scale
Of the monster's hide.
“Strike your flag !" the rebel cries,

In his arrogant old plantation strain.
“Never!” our gallant Morris replies;

“It is better to sink than to yield !"

And the whole air pealed
With the cheers of our men.

Then, like a kraken huge and black,

She crushed our ribs in her iron grasp!
Down went the Cumberland all a wrack,

With a sudden shudder of death,

And the cannon's breath
For her dying gasp.
Next morn, as the sun rose over the bay,

Still floated our flag at the mainmast-head.
Lord, how beautiful was thy day!

Every waft of the air

Was a whisper of prayer,
Or a dirge for the dead.
Ho! brave hearts that went down in the seas!

Ye are at peace in the troubled stream.
Ho! brave land! with hearts like these,

Thy flag, that is rent in twain,

Shall be one again,
And without a seam.

/ Flower de Luce, a volume of thirteen brief poems, bloomed in 1866. In 1867, Longfellow gave to the public what is

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