Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BLACKBIRD, by ALICE CARY

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THE BLACKBIRD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: One on another against the wall
Last Line: As he does with the song he was born to? Not he!
Subject(s): Blackbirds

ONE on another against the wall
Pile up the books, -- I am done with them all!
I shall be wise, if I ever am wise,
Out of my own ears, and of my own eyes.

One day of the woods and their balmy light, --
One hour on the top of a breezy hill,
Where in the sassafras all out of sight
The blackbird is splitting his slender bill
For the ease of his heart!
Do you think if he said
I will sing like this bird with the mud-colored back
And the two little spots of gold over his eyes,
Or like to this shy little creature that flies
So low to the ground, with the amethyst rings
About her small throat, -- all alive when she sings
With a glitter of shivering green, -- for the rest,
Gray shading to gray, with the sheen of her breast
Half rose and half fawn, --
Or like this one so proud,
That flutters so restless, and cries out so loud,
With stiff horny beak and a topknotted head,
And a lining of scarlet laid under his wings, --
Do you think, if he said, "I'm ashamed to be black!"
That he could have shaken the sassafras-tree
As he does with the song he was born to? not he!

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