Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WHEAT-EAR, by CHARLOTTE SMITH



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THE WHEAT-EAR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: From that deep shelter'd solitude
Last Line: Aspire to endless fame!
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Charlotte Turner
Subject(s): Wheatears (Birds)


From that deep shelter'd solitude,
Where in some quarry wild and rude,
Your feather'd mother reared her brood,
Why, pilgrim, did you brave
The upland winds so bleak and keen,
To seek these hills? -- whose slopes between
Wide stretch'd in grey expanse is seen,
The Ocean's toiling wave?

Did instinct bid you linger here,
That broad and restless Ocean near,
And wait, till with the waning year
Those northern gales arise,
Which, from the tall cliff's rugged side
Shall give your soft light plumes to glide,
Across the channel's refluent tide,
To seek more favoring skies?

Alas! and has not instinct said
That luxury's toils for your are laid,
And that by groundless fears betray'd
You ne'er perhaps may know
Those regions, where the embowering vine
Loves round the luscious fig to twine,
And mild the Suns of Winter shine,
And flowers perennial blow.

To take you, shepherd boys prepare
The hollow turf, the wiry snare,
Of those weak terrors well aware,
That bid you vainly dread
The shadows floating o'er the downs,
Or murmuring gale, that round the stones
Of some old beacon, as it moans,
Scarce moves the thistle's head.

And if a cloud obscure the Sun
With faint and fluttering heart you run,
And to the pitfall you should shun
Resort in trembling haste;
While, on that dewy cloud so high,
The lark, sweet minstrel of the sky,
Sings in the morning's beamy eye,
And bathes his spotted breast.

Ah! simple bird, resembling you
Are those, that with distorted view
Thro' life some selfish end pursue,
With low inglorious aim;
They sink in blank oblivious night,
While minds superior dare the light,
And high on honor's glorious height
Aspire to endless fame!





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