Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FREED BIRD, by AMELIA B. WELBY

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THE FREED BIRD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Thy cage is open'd, bird! Too well I love thee
Last Line: Since this heart held a wish, and this frail form a soul!
Alternate Author Name(s): Coppuck, Amelia B.
Subject(s): Birds; Freedom; Liberty

THY cage is open'd, bird! too well I love thee
To bar the sunny things of earth from thee;
A whole broad heaven of blue lies calm above thee,
The green-wood waves beneath, and thou art free;
These slender wires shall prison thee no more --
Up, bird! and 'mid the clouds thy thrilling music pour.

Away! away! the laughing waters, playing,
Break on the fragrant shore in ripples blue,
And the green leaves unto the breeze are laying
Their shining edges, fringed with drops of dew;
And, here and there, a wild flower lifts its head,
Refresh'd with sudden life from many a sunbeam shed.

How sweet thy voice will sound! for o'er yon river
The wing of silence, like a dream, is laid,
And naught is heard save where the wood-boughs quiver,
Making rich spots of trembling light and shade.
And a new rapture thy wild spirit fills,
For joy is on the breeze, and morn upon the hills.

Now, like the aspen, plays each quivering feather
Of thy swift pinion, bearing thee along,
Up, where the morning stars once sang together,
To pour the fulness of thine own rich song;
And now thou'rt mirror'd to my dazzled view,
A little dusky speck amid a world of blue.

Yet I will shade mine eye and still pursue thee,
As thou dost melt in soft ethereal air,
Till angel-ones, sweet bird, will bend to view thee,
And cease their hymns awhile thine own to share;
And there thou art, with light clouds round thee furl'd,
Just poised beneath yon vault, that arches o'er the world

A free wild spirit unto thee is given,
Bright minstrel of the blue celestial dome!
For thou wilt wander to yon upper heaven,
And bathe thy plumage in the sunbeam's home;
And, soaring upward from thy dizzy height
On free and fearless wing, be lost to human sight.

Lute of the summer clouds! whilst thou art singing
Unto thy Maker thy soft matin hymn,
My own mild spirit, from its temple springing,
Would freely join thee in the distance dim;
But I can only gaze on thee and sigh
With heart upon my lip, bright minstrel of the sky!

And yet, sweet bird! bright thoughts to me are given
As many as the clustering leaves of June;
And my young heart is like a harp of heaven,
Forever strung unto some pleasant tune;
And my soul burns with wild poetic fire,
Though simple are my strains, and simpler still my lyre.

And now, farewell! the wild wind of the mountain
And the blue streams alone my strains have heard;
And it is well, for from my heart's deep fountain
They flow, uncultured, as thine own, sweet bird!
For my free thoughts have ever spurned control,
Since this heart held a wish, and this frail form a soul!

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