The Galaxy/Volume 24/Number 2/The Mocking Bird


Superb and sole, upon a pluméd spray
That o'er the general leafage boldly grew,
He summ'd the woods with song; or typic drew
The swoop 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 Shakespeare on the tree?