« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
of their tongues and drawing these out by means of the viscid glue with which their tongues are covered.
Spell and use in sentences :
ăl tēr'nāte ly mål treat'ed plúm'be ous strůc'tūre
mŭs'cū lar ap pa rā'tus vo rā'cious mūz'zle
děv'as tat ed prē dā'cious nox'ious vis'cid
How are the ravagers of forest and field checked ? Have we heretofore known our true friends? Of what use is the mole?—the hedgehog ?-beetles ?—the woodpecker?
Music when soft voices die,
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY (1792-1822).
XIX. THE BIRDS OF KILLINGWORTH.
It was the season, when through all the land
The merle and mavis build, and building sing Those lovely lyrics, written by His hand,
Whom Saxon Caedmon calls the Blithe-heart King ; When on the boughs the purple buds expand,
The banners of the vanguard of the Spring,
The robin and the bluebird, piping loud,
Filled all the blossoming orchard with their glee; The sparrows chirped as if they still were proud
Their race in Holy Writ should mentioned be; And hungry crows, assembled in a crowd,
Clamored their piteous prayer incessantly, Knowing who heard the ravens cry, and said: “Give us, O Lord, this day our daily bread!”
Across the Sound the birds of passage sailed,
Speaking some unknown language strange and sweet Of tropic isle remote, and passing hailed
The village with the cheers of all their fleet;
Like foreign sailors, landed in the street
Thus came the jocund Spring in Killingworth,
In fabulous days, some hundred years ago; And thrifty farmers as they tilled the earth,
Heard with alarm the cawing of the crow, That mingled with the universal mirth,
Cassandra-like, prognosticating woe; They shook their heads, and doomed with dreadful words To swift destruction the whole race of birds.
And a town-meeting was convened straightway
To set a price upon the guilty heads Of these marauders, who, in lieu of pay,
Levied black-mail upon the garden beds
The awful scare-crow, with his fluttering shreds ;
Then from his house, a temple painted white,
With fluted columns, and a roof of red,
Slowly descending with majestic tread,
Down the long street he walked as one who said: 66 A town that boasts inhabitants like me Can have no lack of good society.”
From the Academy, whose belfry crowned
The hill of science with its vane of brass, Came the Preceptor, gazing idly round;
Now at the clouds, and now at the green grass, And all absorbed in reveries profound
Of fair Alvira in the upper class, Who was, as in a sonnet he had said, As pure as water and as good as bread.
And next the Deacon issued from his door,
In his voluminous neck-cloth, white as snow;
His form was ponderous and his step was slow;
so!" And to perpetuate his great renown There was a street named after him in town.
These came together in the new town-hall,
With sundry farmers from the region round. The Squire presided, dignified and tall,
His air impressive and his reasoning sound;
Hardly one friend in all the crowd they found,
When they had ended, from his place apart
Rose the Preceptor, to redress the wrong, And, trembling like a steed before the start,
Looked round bewildered on the expectant throng; Then thought of fair Alvira, and took heart
To speak out what was in him, clear and strong,
"Plato, anticipating the Reviewers,
From his Republic banished without pity The Poets; in this little town of yours,
You put to death, by means of a Committee, The ballad-singers and the Troubadours,
The street musicians of the heavenly city, The birds who make sweet music for us all In our dark hours, as David did for Saul.
"The thrush that carols at the dawn of day
From the green steeples of the piney wood;
Jargoning like a foreigner at his food;
Flooding with melody the neighborhood;
“You slay them all! and wherefore? for the grain
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?
Sweeter than instrument of man e'er caught!
“Think every morning when the sun peeps through
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.