Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SONG OF THE TOAD, by JOHN BURROUGHS



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THE SONG OF THE TOAD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Have you heard the blinking toad
Last Line: No bird could do it better.
Variant Title(s): Portia To Shylock
Subject(s): Toads


Have you heard the blinking toad
Sing his solo by the river
When April nights are soft and warm,
And spring is all a-quiver?
If there are jewels in his head,
His wits they often muddle, --
His mate full often lays her eggs
Into a drying puddle.

The jewel's in his throat, I ween,
And song in ample measure,
For he can make the welkin ring,
And do it at his leisure.
At ease he sits upon the pool,
And, void of fuss or trouble,
Makes vesper music fit for kings
From out an empty bubble:

A long drawn-out and tolling cry,
That drifts above the chorus
Of shriller voices from the marsh
That April nights send o'er us;
A tender monotone of song
With vernal longings blending,
That rises from the ponds and pools,
And seems at times unending;

A linked chain of bubbling notes,
When birds have ceased their calling,
That lulls the ear with soothing sound
Like voice of water falling.
It is the knell of Winter dead;
Good-by, his icy fetter.
Blessings on thy warty head:
No bird could do it better.





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