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ALL THESE BIRDS, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Agreed that all these birds
Subject(s): Birds

Hawk or heavenly lark or heard-of nightingale,
Perform upon the kite-strings of our sight
In a false distance, that the day and night
Are full of winged words
gone rather stale,
That nothing is so worn
As Philomers bosom-thorn,
That it is, in fact, the male
Nightingale which sings, and that all these creatures wear
Invisible armor such as Hubert beheld
His water-ousel through, as, wrapped or shelled
In a clear bellying veil
or bubble of air,
It bucked the flood to feed
At the stream-bottom. Agreed
That the sky is a vast claire
In which the gull, despite appearances, is not
Less claustral than the oyster in its beak
And dives like nothing human; that we seek
Vainly to know the heron
(but can plot
What angle of the light
Provokes its northern flight) .
Let them be polyglot
And wordless then, those boughs that spoke with Solomon
In Hebrew canticles, and made him wise;
And let a clear and bitter wind arise
To storm into the hotbeds
of the sun,
And there, beyond a doubt,
Batter the Phoenix out.
Let us, with glass or gun,
Watch (from our clever blinds) the monsters of the sky
Dwindle to habit, habitat, and song,
And tell the imagination it is wrong
Till, lest it be undone,
it spin a lie
So fresh, so pure, so rare
As to possess the air.
Why should it be more shy
Than chimney-nesting storks, or sparrows on a wall?
Oh, let it climb wherever it can cling
Like some great trumpet-vine, a natural thing
To which all birds that fly
come natural*
Come, stranger, sister, dove:
Put on the reins of love.

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