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blythe un-sub-stan-ti-al bab-bling

blythe un-sub-stan-ti-al bab-bling

O blythe new-comer! I have heard,

I hear thee and rejoice;
O cuckoo ! shall I call thee bird,

Or but a wandering voice ?
While I am lying on the grass,

Thy twofold shout I hear,
That seems to fill the air's whole

As loud far off as near.
Though babbling only to the vale,

Of sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale

Of visionary hours.
Thrice welcome, darling of the spring!

Even yet thou art to me
No bird: but an invisible thing,

A voice, a mystery.
The same which in my schoolboy days

I listened to; that cry
Which made me look a thousand ways,

In bush, and tree, and sky.


To seek thee often did I rove

Through woods and on the green;
And thou wert still a hope, a love

Still longed for, never seen.
And I can listen to thee yet;

Can lie upon the plain,
And listen till I do beget

That golden time again.
O blessed bird ! the earth we pace

Again appears to be
An unsubstantial fairy place,
That is fit home for thee.


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to-paz para-dise


en-titles en-ti-tles

pa-ra-dise Though least in size, the glittering mantle of the humming-bird entitles it to the first place in the list of the birds of the New World. It may truly be called the bird of paradise; and had it existed in the Old World, it would have claimed the title instead of the bird which has now the honour to bear it. See it darting through the air almost as quick as thought; now it is within a yard of your face—in an instant gone; now it flutters from flower to flower to sip the silver dew; it is now a ruby, now a topaz, now an emerald, now all burnished with gold !

Cayenne and Demerara produce the same hummingbirds. Perhaps you would like to know something of their haunts. In the months of July and August there is a tree which is very common in Demerara, and bears abundance of red blossoms, which stay on the tree for some weeks; then it is that most of the different species of humming-birds are very plentiful. The wild red sage is also their favourite shrub, and they buzz like bees around it. Indeed there is scarce a flower in the interior, or on the sea-coast, which does not receive frequent visits from one or other of the species. On entering the forests on the rising land in the interior, the blue and green, the smallest brown, no bigger than the humble-bee, with two long feathers in the tail, and the little forked-tail purple-throated humming-birds, glitter before you in ever-changing attitudes.

One species alone never shows his beauty in the sun; and were it not for his lovely shining colours, you might almost be tempted to class him with the goat-suckers, on account of his habits. He is the largest of all the humming-birds, and is all red and changing gold-green, except the head, which is black. He has two long feathers in the tail, which cross each

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other, and these have gained him the name of Ara humming-bird from the Indians. You never find him on the sea-coast, or where the river is salt, or in the heart of the forest, unless fresh water be there. He keeps close by the side of woody fresh-water rivers, and dark and lonely creeks. He leaves his retreat before sunrise to feed on the insects over the water; he returns to it as soon as the sun's rays cause a glare of light, is sedentary all day long, and comes out again for a short time after sunset. He builds his nest on a twig over the water in the unfrequented creeks; it looks like tanned cow leather.

It seems to be an erroneous opinion that the humming-bird lives entirely on honey-dew. Almost every flower of the tropical climates contains insects of one kind or another; now the humming-bird is most busy about the flowers an hour or two after sunrise, and after a shower of rain, and it is just at this time that the insects come out to the edge of the flower, in order that the sun's rays may dry the nocturnal dew and rain which they have received. On opening the stomach of the humming-bird, dead insects are almost always found there.



crea-ture un-dis-cern-ing flow-et-et

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Oh, spare my flower, my gentle flower,

The slender creature of a day !
Let it bloom out its little hour,

And pass away.

So soon its fleeting charms must be

Decayed, unnoticed, overthrown;
Oh, hasten not its destiny,

Too like thine own!

The breeze will roam this way to-morrow,

And sigh to find its playmate gone;
The bee will come its sweets to borrow

And meet with none.

Oh, spare my flower ! thou know'st not what

Thy undiscerning hand would tear;
A thousand charms thou notest not

Lie treasured there.

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