Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LITTLE BEACH BIRD, by RICHARD HENRY DANA (1787-1879)

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE LITTLE BEACH BIRD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Thou little bird, thou dweller by the sea
Last Line: Where birds of summer sing.
Subject(s): Birds

THOU little bird, thou dweller by the sea,
Why takest thou its melancholy voice?
Why with that brooding cry
O'er the waves dost thou fly?
O, rather, bird, with me
Through the fair land rejoice!
Thy flitting form comes ghostly dim and pale,
As driven by a beating storm at sea;
Thy cry is weak and scared,
As if thy mates had shared
The doom of us. Thy wail --
What does it bring to me?
Thou call'st along the sand, and haunt'st the surge,
Restless and sad; as if, in strange accord
With motion and with roar
Of waves that drive to shore,
One spirit did ye urge --
The Mystery -- the Word.
Of thousands thou both sepulchre and pall,
Old ocean, art! A requiem o'er the dead,
From out thy bloomy cells,
A tale of mourning tells, --
Tells of man's woe and fall,
His sinless glory fled.
Then turn thee, little brid, and take thy flight
Where the complaining sea shall sadness bring
Thy spirit nevermore.
Come, quit with me the shore,
For gladness and the light,
Where birds of summer sing.

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