Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE JACKDAW, by VINCENT BOURNE



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THE JACKDAW, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There is a bird who by his coat
Last Line: And such a head between 'em.
Subject(s): Jackdaws


THERE is a bird, who by his coat,
And by the hoarseness of his note
Might be supposed a crow;
A great frequenter of the church,
Where, bishop-like, he finds a perch,
And dormitory too.

Above the steeple shines a plate,
That turns and turns, to indicate
From what point blows the weather.
Look up--your brains begin to swim,
'Tis in the clouds--that pleases him,
He chooses it the rather.

Fond of the speculative height,
Thither he wings his airy flight,
And thence securely sees
The bustle and the raree-show
That occupy mankind below,
Secure and at his ease.

You think, no doubt, he sits and muses
On future broken bones and bruises,
If he should chance to fall.
No; not a single thought like that
Employs his philosophic pate,
Or troubles it at all.

He sees, that this great roundabout--
The world, with all its motley rout,
Church, army, physic, law,
Its customs, and its businesses,--
Is no concern at all of his,
And says--what says he?--Caw.

Thrice happy bird! I too have seen
Much of the vanities of men;
And, sick of having seen 'em,
Would cheerfully these limbs reeign
For such a pair of wings as thine,
And such a head between 'em.





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