Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE SKYLARK, by BERNARD BARTON

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TO THE SKYLARK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Bird of the free and fearless wing!
Last Line: And bring down music from the sky!
Alternate Author Name(s): Quaker Poet
Subject(s): Birds; Larks; Skylarks

BIRD of the free and fearless wing!
Up! up! and greet the sun's first ray,
Until the spacious welkin ring
With thy enlivening matin lay!
I love to track thy heavenward way
Till thou art lost to aching sight,
And hear thy song, as blithe and gay
As heaven above looks pure and bright.

Songster of sky and cloud! to thee
Has heaven a joyous lot assign'd;
And thou, to hear those notes of glee,
Would seem therein thy bliss to find:
Thou art the first to leave behind,
At day's return, this lower earth;
And soaring, as on wings of wind,
To spring whence light and life have birth.

Bird of the sweet and taintless hour!
When dewdrops spangle o'er the lea,
Ere yet upon the bending flower
Has lit the busy humming bee;
Pure as all nature is to thee,
Thou with an instinct half divine,
Wingest thy fearless flight so free
Up toward a still more glorious shrine.

Bird of the morn! from thee might man,
Creation's lord, a lesson take:
If thou, whose instinct ill may scan
The glories that around thee break,
Thus bidd'st a sleeping world awake
To joy and praise -- Oh! how much more
Should mind, immortal, earth forsake,
And man look upward to adore!

Bird of the happy, heavenward song!
Could but the poet act thy part,
This soul, upborne on wings as strong
As thought can give, from earth might start:
And he, with far diviner art
Than genius ever can supply,
As thou the ear, might glad the heart,
And bring down music from the sky!

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