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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE BIRDS: THE BIRDS' LIFE, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: All the wide world now I sway
Last Line: Of myrtle-berries maiden-white.
Subject(s): Birds

ALL the wide world now I sway
And my subject realm survey;
Mortals all to me shall bring
Votive prayer and offering.
For the whole earth I defend,
All her thriving fruits I tend;
One and all I slay the brood
That preys on every ripening bud,
Sits on trees and sucks their fruit,
Or mining saps the secret root.
Through the damask gardens I
Seize the reptile, chase the fly,
Whoe'er with harmful power presume
To waste the sweets or soil the bloom;
Crushed by my wing the felons lie.

Happy race of birds, that wear
No fleece to fend the winter's air;
Nor can summer's beaming ray
Scorch us through the sultry day.
Bosomed deep in leafy green
Us the flowery meadows screen,
While the shrill cicala cries
Rapt in noontide ecstasies.
When the wintry time is come
In hollow caves I make my home
And with hill-top nymphs delight;
Then with spring the grounds invite
Of garden-plots the Graces till;
Browsing there we crop our fill
Of myrtle-berries maiden-white.

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