Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LONELY BIRD, by HARRISON SMITH MORRIS



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THE LONELY BIRD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O dappled throat of white! Shy, hidden bird!
Last Line: And I, in thee, have uttered what I am!
Subject(s): Birds; Nature


(IN THE ADIRONDACKS)

O DAPPLED throat of white! Shy, hidden bird!
Perched in green dimness of the dewy wood,
And murmuring, in that lonely, lover mood,
Thy heart-ache, softly heard,
Sweetened by distance, over land and lake.

Why, like a kinsman, do I feel thy voice
Awaken voices in me free and sweet?
Was there some far ancestral birdhood fleet
That rose and would rejoice:
A broken cycle rounded in a song?

The lake, like steady wine in a deep cup,
Lay crystal in the curving mountain deeps;
And now the air brought that long lyric up
That sobs, then falls and weeps,
And hushes silence into listening hope.

Is it that we were sprung of one old kin,
Children of brooding earth, that lets us tell,
Thou from thy rhythmic throat, I deep within,
These syllables of her spell,
This hymned wisdom of her pondering years?

For thou hast spoken song-wise in a tongue
I knew not till I heard the buried air
Burst from the boughs and bring me what thou sung,
Here where the lake lies bare
To reaching summits and the azure sky.

Thy music is a language of the trees,
The brown soil, and the never-trodden brake;
Translatress art thou of dumb mysteries
That dream through wood and lake;
And I, in thee, have uttered what I am!





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