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Title: Voices for the Speechless

Editor: Abraham Firth

Release date: July 10, 2004 [eBook #12879]
Most recently updated: December 15, 2020

Language: English


E-text prepared by Elaine Walker
and Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders







—which "plead the cause
Of those dumb mouths that have no speech."


And I am recompensed, and deem the toils
Of poetry not lost, if verse of mine
May stand between an animal and woe,
And teach one tyrant pity for his drudge




The compiler of this little book has often heard inquiries by teachers of schools, for selections suitable for reading and recitations by their scholars, in which the duty of kindness to animals should be distinctly taught.

To meet such calls, three successive pamphlets were published, and a fourth consisting of selections from the Poems of Mr. Longfellow. All were received with marked favor by the teachers to whom they became known.

This led to their collection afterwards in one volume for private circulation, and now the volume is republished for public sale, with a few omissions and additions.

All who desire our children to be awakened in their schools to the claims of the humbler creatures are invited to see that copies are put in school libraries, that they may be within the reach of all teachers. And this, not for the sake of the creatures only.

As Pope has said, "Nothing stands alone; the chain holds on, and where it ends, unknown."

Many readers may be surprised to find how many of the great poets have been touched by the sufferings of the "innocent animals," and how loftily they have pleaded their cause.

The poems in the collection are not all complete, because of their length in some cases, and, in others, because a part only of each was suited to the end in view. A very few, however, like "Geist's Grave" and "Don," could not be divided satisfactorily.

To all who have aided in this humble undertaking, heartiest thanks are given, and especially to its publishers who have accorded to it their coveted approval and the benefit of their large facilities for making the volume widely known.

May the lessons of kindness and dependence here taught with so much poetical beauty and with such mingled justice, pathos and humor, find a permanent lodgment in the hearts of all who may read them!

A. F.

Boston, Mass., U. S. A., June, 1883.





A Prayer

He Prayeth Best

Our Morality on Trial



Results and Duties of Man's Supremacy

Justice to the Brute Creation

Can they Suffer?

Growth of Humane Ideas

Moral Lessons

Duty to Animals not long recognized

Natural Rights



Care for the Lowest


Say Not

See, through this Air

The Right must win

Animated Nature

Animal Happiness

No Grain of Sand

Humanity, Mercy, and Benevolence

Living Creatures

Nothing Alone

Man's Rule

Dumb Souls


Little by Little


Animals and Human Speech


Learn from the Creatures

Pain to Animals

What might have been

Village Sounds


Old Hindoo


Our Pets

Egyptian Ritual


A Birthday Address


To Lydia Maria Child



Acts of Mercy

The Good Samaritan


Children at School

Membership of the Church

Feeling for Animals


Effect of Cruelty


The Poor Beetle

The Consummation


A Vision

Speak Gently



For the Sake of the Innocent Animals

Ring Out

Fame and Duty

No Ceremony

True Leaders

Be kind to Dumb Creatures


"In Him we Live"

Firm and Faithful

Heart Service

Exulting Sings

In Holy Books

The Bell of Atri

Among the Noblest

The Fallen Horse

The Horse

The Birth of the Horse

To his Horse

Sympathy for Horse and Hound

The Blood Horse

The Cid and Bavieca

The King of Denmark's Ride

Do you know?

The Bedouin's Rebuke

From "The Lord of Butrago"

"Bay Billy"

The Ride of Collins Graves

Paul Revere's Ride

Sheridan's Ride

Good News to Aix

Dying in Harness

Plutarch's Humanity

The Horses of Achilles

The War Horse

Pegasus in Pound

The Horse

From "The Foray"

On Landseer's Picture, "Waiting for Master"


The Waterfowl

Sea Fowl

The Sandpiper

The Birds of Killingworth

The Magpie

The Mocking-Bird

Early Songs and Sounds

The Sparrow's Note

The Glow-Worm

St. Francis to the Birds

Wordsworth's Skylark

Shelley's Skylark

Hogg's Skylark

The Sweet-Voiced Quire

A Caged Lark

The Woodlark

Keats's Nightingale

Lark and Nightingale

Flight of the Birds

A Child's Wish

The Humming-Bird

The Humming-Bird's Wedding

The Hen and the Honey-Bee

Song of the Robin

Sir Robin

The Dear Old Robins

Robins quit the Nest

Lost—Three Little Robins

The Terrible Scarecrow and Robins

The Song Sparrow

The Field Sparrow

The Sparrow

Piccola and Sparrow

Little Sparrow

The Swallow

The Emperor's Bird's-Nest

To a Swallow building under our Eaves

The Swallow, the Owl, and the Cock's Shrill Clarion in the "Elegy"

The Statue over the Cathedral Door

The Bird let Loose

The Brown Thrush

The Golden-Crowned Thrush

The Thrush

The Aziola

The Marten

Judge You as You Are

Robert of Lincoln

My Doves

The Doves of Venice

Song of the Dove

What the Quail says


The Linnet

Hear the Woodland Linnet

The Parrot

The Common Question

Why not do it, Sir, To-day

To a Redbreast


To the Stork

The Storks of Delft

The Pheasant

The Herons of Elmwood

Walter von der Vogelweid

The Legend of the Cross-Bill

Pretty Birds

The Little Bird sits

The Living Swan

The Stormy Petrel

To the Cuckoo

Birds at Dawn

Evening Songs

Little Brown Bird

Life's Sign

A Bird's Ministry

Of Birds

Birds in Spring

The Canary in his Cage

Who stole the Bird's-Nest

Who stole the Eggs

What the Birds say

The Wren's Nest

On Another's Sorrow

The Shepherd's Home

The Wood-Pigeon's Home

The Shag

The Lost Bird

The Birds must know

The Bird King

Shadows of Birds

The Bird and the Ship

A Myth


Cuvier on the Dog

A Hindoo Legend

Ulysses and Argus


William of Orange saved by his Dog

The Bloodhound


Llewellyn and his Dog

Looking for Pearls


To my Dog "Blanco"

The Beggar and his Dog


Geist's Grave

On the Death of a Favorite Old Spaniel

Epitaph in Grey Friars' Churchyard

From an Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog

The Dog

Johnny's Private Argument

The Harper


The Irish Wolf-Hound

Six Feet

There's Room enough for all

His Faithful Dog

The Faithful Hound


The Spider's Lesson

The Spider and Stork

The Homestead at Evening

The Cattle of a Hundred Farms


The Newsboy's Cat

The Child and her Pussy

The Alpine Sheep

Little Lamb

Cowper's Hare

Turn thy Hasty Foot aside

The Worm turns

Grasshopper and Cricket

The Honey-Bees

Cunning Bee

An Insect

The Chipmunk

Mountain and Squirrel

To a Field-Mouse

A Sea-Shell

The Chambered Nautilus

Hiawatha's Brothers

Unoffending Creatures


The Lark

The Swallow

Returning Birds

The Birds





Mohammedanism—The Cattle

The Spider and the Dove

The Young Doves



Dumb Mouths

The Parsees


The Tiger

Value of Animals

Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals





And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.—Gen. i. 31.

But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.—Ex. xx. 10.

For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.—Psa. l. 10, 11.

The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
The eyes of all wait upon thee: and thou givest them their meat in due season.
Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.—Psa. cxlv. 9, 15, 16.

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast.—Prov. xii. 10.

Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.—Prov. xxxi. 8.

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee.—Job xii. 7.

Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother. And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him again.

In like manner shalt thou do with his ass; and so shalt thou do with his raiment: and with all lost things of thy brother's, which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest not hide thyself.

Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again.—Deut. xxii. 1-4.

Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities: and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.—Mic. vii. 18, 19.

Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?—Job xxxix. 26, 27.

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provideth her meat in summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.—Prov. vi. 6-8.

And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city: the one was rich, and the other poor.

The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing save one little ewe-lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.

And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock, and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come to him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.

And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die. And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.—2 Sam. xii. 1-6.

Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.
Beasts and all cattle: creeping things, and flying fowl.—Psa. cxlviii. 1, 2, 10.

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.—Psa. lxxxiv. 3.

And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand, and also much cattle?—Jonah iv. 11.

For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn.—1 Tim. v. 18.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Matt. v. 7.

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.—Matt. vi. 26.

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?—Luke xii. 6.



Maker of earth and sea and sky,
Creation's sovereign, Lord and King,
Who hung the starry worlds on high,
And formed alike the sparrow's wing:
Bless the dumb creatures of thy care,
And listen to their voiceless prayer.
For us they toil, for us they die,
These humble creatures Thou hast made;
How shall we dare their rights deny,
On whom thy seal of love is laid?
Teach Thou our hearts to hear their plea,
As Thou dost man's in prayer to Thee!

Emily B. Lord.


O wedding guest! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide, wide sea:
So lonely 'twas, that God himself
Scarce seeméd there to be.
O sweeter than the marriage feast,
'Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company!—
To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray,
While each to his great Father bends,
Old man, and babes, and loving friends,
And youths and maidens gay!
Farewell! farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou wedding guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.

S. T. Coleridge.


Bishop Butler affirmed that it was on the simple fact of a creature being sentient, i.e. capable of pain and pleasure, that rests our responsibility to save it pain and give it pleasure. There is no evading this obligation, then, as regards the lower animals, by the plea that they are not moral beings; it is our morality, not theirs, which is in question.

Miss F. P. Cobbe.

"Never," said my aunt, "be mean in anything; never be false, never be cruel. Avoid those three vices, Trot, and I can always be hopeful of you."

C. Dickens, in David Copperfield.


Wherefore it is evident that even the ordinary exercise of this faculty of sympathy implies a condition of the whole moral being in some measure right and healthy, and that to the entire exercise of it there is necessary the entire perfection of the Christian character, for he who loves not God, nor his brother, cannot love the grass beneath his feet and the creatures that fill those spaces in the universe which he needs not, and which live not for his uses; nay, he has seldom grace to be grateful even to those that love and serve him, while, on the other hand, none can love God nor his human brother without loving all things which his Father loves, nor without looking upon them every one as in that respect his brethren also, and perhaps worthier than he, if in the under concords they have to fill their part is touched more truly.



The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptred sway:
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore,...
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,—
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.

Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice, Act 4, Sc. 1.


And in that primeval account of Creation which the second chapter of Genesis gives us, the first peculiar characteristic of the Human Being is that he assumes the rank of the Guardian and Master of every fowl of the air and every beast of the field. They gather round him, he names them, he classifies them, he seeks for companionship from them. It is the fit likeness and emblem of their relation to him in the course of history. That "earnest expectation of the creature" which the Apostle describes, that, "stretching forth the head" of the whole creation towards a brighter and better state as ages have rolled on, has received even here a fulfilment which in earlier times could not have been dreamed of. The savage animals have, before the tread of the Lord of Creation, gradually disappeared. Those creatures which show capacity for improvement have been cherished and strengthened and humanized by their intercourse with man. The wild horse has been brought under his protecting care, has become a faithful ministering servant, rejoicing in his master's voice, fondled by his master's children. The huge elephant has had his "half-reasoning" powers turned into the faculties of a gentle, benevolent giant, starting aside from his course to befriend a little child, listening with the docility of a child to his driver's rebuke or exhortation. The light, airy, volatile bird seems to glow with a new instinct of affection and of perseverance under the shelter of the firm hand and eye of man. The dog, in all Eastern nations, even under the Old Testament itself, represented as an outcast, the emblem of all that was unclean and shameful, has, through the Gentile Western nations, been admitted within the pale of human fellowship. Truly, if man has thus, as it were, infused a soul into the dumb, lawless animals, what a community of feeling, what tenderness should it require from him in dealing with them. What a heartless, in one word, what an inhuman spirit is implied by any cruelty towards those, his dependents, his followers, his grateful, innocent companions, placed under his charge by Him who is at once their Father and ours. Remember our common origin and our common infirmities. Remember that we are bound to feel for their hunger, their thirst, their pains, which they share with us, and which we, the controllers of their destiny, ought to alleviate by the means which our advancing civilization enables us to use for ourselves. Remember how completely each of us is a god to them, and, as a god, bound to them by godlike duties.

Dean Stanley.


The rights of all creatures are to be respected, but especially of those kinds which man domesticates and subsidizes for his peculiar use. Their nearer contact with the human world creates a claim on our loving-kindness beyond what is due to more foreign and untamed tribes. Respect that claim. "The righteous man," says the proverb, "regardeth the life of his beast." Note that word "righteous." The proverb does not say the merciful man, but the righteous, the just. Not mercy only, but justice, is due to the brute. Your horse, your ox, your kine, your dog, are not mere chattels, but sentient souls. They are not your own so proper as to make your will the true and only measure of their lot. Beware of contravening their nature's law, of taxing unduly their nature's strength. Their powers and gifts are a sacred trust. The gift of the horse is his fleetness, but when that gift is strained to excess and put to wager for exorbitant tasks, murderous injustice is done to the beast. They have their rights, which every right-minded owner will respect. We owe them return for the service they yield, all needful comfort, kind usage, rest in old age, and an easy death.

Rev. Dr. Hedge.


The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withheld from them but by the hand of tyranny. It may come one day to be recognized that the number of legs, or the villosity of the skin, are reasons insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the caprice of a tormentor. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational as well as a more conversable animal than an infant of a day, a week, or even a month old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what could it avail? The question is not "Can they reason?" nor "Can they speak?" but "Can they suffer?"



The disposition to raise the fallen, to befriend the friendless, is now one of the governing powers of the world. Every year its dominion widens, and even now a strong and growing public opinion is enlisted in its support. Many men still spend lives that are merely selfish. But such lives are already regarded with general disapproval. The man on whom public opinion, anticipating the award of the highest tribunal, bestows its approbation, is the man who labors that he may leave other men better and happier than he found them. With the noblest spirits of our race this disposition to be useful grows into a passion. With an increasing number it is becoming at least an agreeable and interesting employment. On the monument to John Howard in St. Paul's, it is said that the man who devotes himself to the good of mankind treads "an open but unfrequented path to immortality." The remark, so true of Howard's time, is happily not true of ours.

Mackenzie's Nineteenth Century.


And let us take to ourselves the moral lessons which these creatures preach to all who have studied and learned to love what I venture to call the moral in brutes. Look at that faithful servant, the ox! What an emblem in all generations of patient, plodding, meek endurance and serviceable toil! Of the horse and the dog, what countless anecdotes declare the generous loyalty, the tireless zeal, the inalienable love! No human devotion has ever surpassed the recorded examples of brutes in that line. The story is told of an Arab horse who, when his master was taken captive and bound hand and foot, sought him out in the dark amidst other victims, seized him by the girdle with his teeth, ran with him all night at the top of his speed, conveyed him to his home, and then, exhausted with the effort, fell down and died. Did ever man evince more devoted affection?

Surely, something of a moral nature is present also in the brute creation. If nowhere else we may find it in the brute mother's care for her young. Through universal nature throbs the divine pulse of the universal Love, and binds all being to the Father-heart of the author and lover of all. Therefore is sympathy with animated nature, a holy affection, an extended humanity, a projection of the human heart by which we live, beyond the precincts of the human house, into all the wards of the many creatured city of God, as He with his wisdom and love is co-present to all. Sympathy with nature is a part of the good man's religion.

Rev. Dr. Hedge.

Whenever any trait of justice, or generosity, or far-sighted wisdom, or wide tolerance, or compassion, or purity, is seen in any man or woman throughout the whole human race, as in the fragments of a broken mirror we see the reflection of the Divine image.

Dean Stanley.


It is not, however, to be reckoned as surprising, that our forefathers did not dream of such a thing as Duty to Animals. They learned very slowly that they owed duties to men of other races than their own. Only in the generation which recognized thoroughly for the first time that the negro was a man and brother, did it dawn that beyond the negro there were other still humbler claimants for benevolence and justice. Within a few years, passed both the Emancipation of the West Indian slaves and the first act for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, of which Lord Erskine so truly prophesied that it would prove not only an honor to the Parliament of England, but an era in the civilization of the world.

Miss F. P. Cobbe.


But what is needed for the present is due regard for the natural rights of animals, due sense of the fact that they are not created for man's pleasure and behoof alone, but have, independent of him, their own meaning and place in the universal order; that the God who gave them being, who out of the manifoldness of his creative thought let them pass into life, has not cast them off, but is with them, in them, still. A portion of his Spirit, though unconscious and unreflecting, is theirs. What else but the Spirit of God could guide the crane and the stork across pathless seas to their winter retreats, and back again to their summer haunts? What else could reveal to the petrel the coming storm? What but the Spirit of God could so geometrize the wondrous architecture of the spider and the bee, or hang the hill-star's nest in the air, or sling the hammock of the tiger-moth, or curve the ramparts of the beaver's fort, and build the myriad "homes without hands" in which fish, bird, and insect make their abode? The Spirit of God is with them as with us,—consciously with us, unconsciously with them. We are not divided, but one in his care and love. They have their mansions in the Father's house, and we have ours; but the house is one, and the Master and keeper is one for us and them.

Rev. Dr. Hedge.


I can hardly express to you how much I feel there is to be thought of, arising from the word "dumb" applied to animals. Dumb animals! What an immense exhortation that is to pity. It is a remarkable thing that this word dumb should have been so largely applied to animals, for, in reality, there are very few dumb animals. But, doubtless, the word is often used to convey a larger idea than that of dumbness; namely, the want of power in animals to convey by sound to mankind what they feel, or, perhaps, I should rather say, the want of power in men to understand the meaning of the various sounds uttered by animals. But as regards those animals which are mostly dumb, such as the horse, which, except on rare occasions of extreme suffering, makes no sound at all, but only expresses pain by certain movements indicating pain—how tender we ought to be of them, and how observant of these movements, considering their dumbness. The human baby guides and governs us by its cries. In fact, it will nearly rule a household by these cries, and woe would betide it, if it had not this power of making its afflictions known. It is a sad thing to reflect upon, that the animal which has the most to endure from man is the one which has the least powers of protesting by noise against any of his evil treatment.

Arthur Helps.


His parent hand
From the mute shell-fish gasping on the shore,
To men, to angels, to celestial minds,
Forever leads the generations on
To higher scenes of being; while supplied
From day to day with His enlivening breath,
Inferior orders in succession rise
To fill the void below.

Akenside: Pleasures of Imagination.


I would not enter on my list of friends
(Though graced with polished manners and fine sense,
Yet wanting sensibility) the man
Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.
An inadvertent step may crush the snail
That crawls at evening in the public path;
But he that has humanity, forewarned,
Will tread aside, and let the reptile live.
The creeping vermin, loathsome to the sight,
And charged perhaps with venom, that intrudes,
A visitor unwelcome, into scenes
Sacred to neatness and repose, the alcove,
The chamber, or refectory, may die:
A necessary act incurs no blame.
Not so when, held within their proper bounds,
And guiltless of offence, they range the air,
Or take their pastime in the spacious field:
There they are privileged; and he that hunts
Or harms them there is guilty of a wrong,
Disturbs the economy of nature's realm,
Who, when she formed, designed them an abode.
The sum is this: If man's convenience, health,
Or safety, interfere, his rights and claims
Are paramount, and must extinguish theirs.
Else they are all—the meanest things that are—
As free to live, and to enjoy that life,
As God was free to form them at the first,
Who in his sovereign wisdom made them all.
Ye, therefore, who love mercy, teach your sons
To love it too.



Oh, yet we trust that somehow good
Will be the final goal of ill,
To pangs of nature, sins of will,
Defects of doubt and taints of blood;
That nothing walks with aimless feet;
That not one life shall be destroyed,
Or cast as rubbish to the void,
When God hath made the pile complete;
That not a worm is cloven in vain;
That not a moth with vain desire
Is shrivelled in a fruitless fire,
Or but subserves another's gain.



Say not, the struggle naught availeth,
The labor and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.
For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.
And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light;
In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
But westward, look, the land is bright.

A. H. Clough.


See, through this air, this ocean, and this earth,
All matter quick, and bursting into birth.
Above, how high progressive life may go!
Around, how wide! how deep extend below!
Vast chain of being! which from God began,
Natures ethereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, insect, which no eye can see,
No glass can reach; from infinite to thee;
From thee to nothing. On superior powers
Were we to press, inferior might on ours;
Or in the full creation leave a void,
Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroyed:
From Nature's chain whatever link you strike,
Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul;
That, changed through all, and yet in all the same,
Great in the earth, as in the ethereal frame;
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees;
Lives through all life, extends through all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns:
To Him no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, He bounds, connects, and equals all.



Oh, it is hard to work for God,
To rise and take his part
Upon this battle-field of earth,
And not sometimes lose heart!
Ill masters good; good seems to change
To ill with greatest ease;
And, worst of all, the good with good
Is at cross purposes.
It is not so, but so it looks;
And we lose courage then;
And doubts will come if God hath kept
His promises to men.
Workman of God! Oh lose not heart,
But learn what God is like;
And in the darkest battle-field
Thou shalt know where to strike.
For right is right, since God is God;
And right the day must win;
To doubt would be disloyalty,
To falter would be sin!



Nature inanimate employs sweet sounds,
But animated nature sweeter still
To soothe and satisfy the human ear.
Ten thousand warblers cheer the day, and one
The livelong night: nor these alone whose notes
Nice-fingered art must emulate in vain;
But coying rooks, and kites that swim sublime
In still repeated circles, screaming loud,
The jay, the pie, and ev'n the boding owl
That hails the rising moon, have charms for me.
Sounds inharmonious in themselves and harsh,
Yet heard in scenes where peace forever reigns,
And only there, please highly for their sake.



The heart is hard in nature, and unfit
For human fellowship, as being void
Of sympathy, and therefore dead alike
To love and friendship both, that is not pleased
With sight of animals enjoying life,
Nor feels their happiness augment his own.
The bounding fawn that darts along the glade
When none pursues, through mere delight of heart,
And spirits buoyant with excess of glee;
The horse as wanton, and almost as fleet,
That skips the spacious meadow at full speed,
Then stops, and snorts, and throwing high his heels,
Starts to the voluntary race again;
The very kine that gambol at high noon,
The total herd receiving first from one
That leads the dance a summons to be gay,
Though wild their strange vagaries, and uncouth
Their efforts, yet resolved with one consent
To give such act and utterance as they may
To ecstasy too big to be suppressed—
These and a thousand images of bliss,
With which kind Nature graces every scene,
Where cruel man defeats not her design,
Impart to the benevolent, who wish
All that are capable of pleasure pleased,
A far superior happiness to theirs,
The comfort of a reasonable joy.



The very meanest things are made supreme
With innate ecstasy. No grain of sand
But moves a bright and million-peopled land,
And hath its Edens and its Eves, I deem.
For love, though blind himself, a curious eye
Hath lent me, to behold the heart of things,
And touched mine ear with power. Thus, far or nigh,
Minute or mighty, fixed or free with wings,
Delight, from many a nameless covert sly,
Peeps sparkling, and in tones familiar sings.

Laman Blanchard.


When that great and far-reaching softener of hearts, the sense of our failures and offences, is vividly present, the position we hold to creatures who have never done wrong is always found inexpressibly touching. To be kind to them, and rejoice in their happiness, seems just one of the few ways in which we can act a godlike part in our little sphere, and display the mercy for which we hope in turn. The only befitting feeling for human beings to entertain toward brutes is—as the very word suggests—the feeling of Humanity; or, as we may interpret it, the sentiment of sympathy, as far as we can cultivate fellow feeling; of Pity so far so we know them to suffer; of Mercy so far as we can spare their sufferings; of Kindness and Benevolence, so far as it is in our power to make them happy.

Miss F. P. Cobbe.


What call'st thou solitude? Is mother earth
With various living creatures, and the air
Replenished, and all these at thy command
To come and play before thee? Know'st thou not
Their language and their ways? They also know,
And reason not contemptibly; with these
Find pastime, and bear rule; thy realm is large.

Paradise Lost, bk. 8.


One all-extending, all-preserving Soul
Connects each being, greatest with the least;
Made beast in aid of man, and man of beast;
All served, all serving: nothing stands alone:
The chain holds on, and where it ends, unknown.



Thou gavest me wide nature for my kingdom,
And power to feel it, to enjoy it. Not
Cold gaze of winder gav'st thou me alone,
But even into her bosom's depth to look,
As it might be the bosom of a friend;
The grand array of living things thou madest
To pass before me, mak'st me know my brothers
In silent bush, in water, and in air.

Blackie's Translation of Goethe's Faust.


Even the she-wolf with young, on rapine bent,
He caught and tethered in his mat-walled tent,
And cherished all her little sharp-nosed young,
Till the small race with hope and terror clung
About his footsteps, till each new-reared brood,
Remoter from the memories of the wood
More glad discerned their common home with man.
This was the work of Jubal: he began
The pastoral life, and, sire of joys to be,
Spread the sweet ties that bind the family
O'er dear dumb souls that thrilled at man's caress,
And shared his pain with patient helpfulness.

George Eliot: Legend of Jubal.

Nor must we childishly feel contempt for the study of the lower animals, since in all nature's work there is something wonderful. And if any one thinks the study of other animals despicable, he must despise the study of his own nature.



Thus born alike, from virtue first began
The diff'rence that distinguished man from man:
He claimed no title from descent of blood;
But that which made him noble made him good.



Little by little the time goes by—
Short if you sing through it, long if you sigh.
Little by little—an hour, a day,
Gone with the years that have vanished away;
Little by little the race is run,
Trouble and waiting and toil are done!
Little by little the skies grow clear;
Little by little the sun comes near;
Little by little the days smile out
Gladder and brighter on pain and doubt;
Little by little the seed we sow
Into a beautiful yield will grow.
Little by little the world grows strong,
Fighting the battle of Right and Wrong:
Little by little the Wrong gives way,
Little by little the Right has sway;
Little by little all longing souls
Struggle up nearer the shining goals!
Little by little the good in men
Blossoms to beauty for human ken;
Little by little the angels see
Prophecies better of good to be;
Little by little the God of all
Lifts the world nearer the pleading call.

Cincinnati Humane Appeal.


Life may be given in many ways
And loyalty to truth be sealed
As bravely in the closet as the field,
So generous is fate;
But then to stand beside her,
When craven churls deride her,
To front a lie in arms, and not to yield,
This shows, methinks, God's plan
And measure of a stalwart man,
Limbed like the old heroic breeds,
Who stands self-poised on manhood's solid earth,
Not forced to frame excuses for his birth,
Fed from within with all the strength he needs.

J. R. Lowell.


Animals have much more capacity to understand human speech than is generally supposed. The Hindoos invariably talk to their elephants, and it is amazing how much the latter comprehend. The Arabs govern their camels with a few cries, and my associates in the African desert were always amused whenever I addressed a remark to the big dromedary who was my property for two months; yet at the end of that time the beast evidently knew the meaning of a number of simple sentences. Some years ago, seeing the hippopotamus in Barnum's museum looking very stolid and dejected, I spoke to him in English, but he did not even open his eyes. Then I went to the opposite corner of the cage, and said in Arabic, "I know you; come here to me." He instantly turned his head toward me; I repeated the words, and thereupon he came to the corner where I was standing, pressed his huge, ungainly head against the bars of the cage, and looked in my face with a touch of delight while I stroked his muzzle. I have two or three times found a lion who recognized the same language, and the expression of his eyes, for an instant, seemed positively human.

Bayard Taylor.


And I, contented with a humble theme,
Have poured my stream of panegyric down
The vale of Nature, where it creeps and winds
Among her lovely works, with a secure
And unambitious course, reflecting clear
If not the virtues, yet the worth, of brutes.
And I am recompensed, and deem the toils
Of poetry not lost, if verse of mine
May stand between an animal and woe,
And teach one tyrant pity for his drudge.



See him from Nature, rising slow to Art!
To copy Instinct, that was Reason's part;
Thus then to man the voice of Nature spake:—
"Go, from the creatures thy instructions take;
Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield;
Learn from the beasts the physic of the field;
Thy arts of building from the bee receive;
Learn of the mole to plough, the worm to weave;
Learn of the little nautilus to sail,
Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale.
Here, too, all forms of social union find,
And hence let reason, late, instruct mankind:
Here subterranean works and cities see;
There towns aerial on the waving tree.
Learn each small people's genius, policies,
The Ant's republic, and the realm of Bees:
How those in common all their wealth bestow,
And Anarchy without confusion know;
And these forever, though a monarch reign,
Their sep'rate cells and properties maintain.
Mark what unvaryed laws preserve each state,
Laws wise as Nature, and as fixed as Fate.
In fine, thy Reason finer webs shall draw,
Entangle Justice in her net of Law,
And Right, too rigid, harden into Wrong;
Still for the strong too weak, the weak too strong.
Yet go! and thus o'er all the creatures sway,
Thus let the wiser make the rest obey;
And, for those Arts mere Instinct could afford,
Be crowned as Monarchs, or as God adored."



Granted that any practice causes more pain to animals than it gives pleasure to man; is that practice moral or immoral? And if exactly in proportion as human beings raise their heads out of the slough of selfishness, they do not answer "immoral," let the morality of the principle of utility be forever condemned.

John Stuart Mill.


It might have been that the sky was green, and the grass serenely blue;
It might have been that grapes on thorns and figs on thistles grew;
It might have been that rainbows gleamed before the showers came;
It might have been that lambs were fierce and bears and tigers tame;
It might have been that cold would melt and summer heat would freeze;
It might have been that ships at sea would sail against the breeze—
And there may be worlds unknown, dear, where we would find the change
From all that we have seen or heard, to others just as strange—
But it never could be wise, dear, in haste to act or speak;
It never could be noble to harm the poor and weak;
It never could be kind, dear, to give a needless pain;
It never could be honest, dear, to sin for greed or gain;
And there could not be a world, dear, while God is true above,
Where right and wrong were governed by any law but love.

Kate Lawrence.


Sweet was the sound, when oft at evening's close,
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose;
There as I passed with careless steps and slow,
The mingling notes came softening from below;
The swain responsive to the milkmaid sung:
The sober herd that lowed to meet their young;
The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool:
The playful children just let loose from school;
The watch-dog's voice that bayed the whispering wind,
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind,—
These all in sweet confusion sought the shade,
And filled each pause the nightingale had made.



The Buddhist duty of universal love enfolds in its embraces not only the brethren and sisters of the new faith, not only our neighbors, but every thing that has life.

T. W. Rhys Davids.

As a mother, even at the risk of her own life, protects her son, her only son, so let a man cultivate good-will without measure toward all beings. Let him cultivate good-will without measure, unhindered love and friendliness toward the whole world, above, below, around. Standing, walking, sitting, or lying, let him be firm in this mind so long as he is awake; this state of heart, they say, is the best in the world.

Metta Sutta.

He who lives pure in thought, free from malice, contented, leading a holy life, feeling tenderly for all creatures, speaking wisely and kindly, humbly and sincerely, has the Deity ever in his breast. The Eternal makes not his abode within the breast of that man who covets another's wealth, who injures living creatures, who is proud of his iniquity, whose mind is evil.



The discontinuance of the murder of human beings and of cruelty to animals, respect for parents, obedience to father and mother, obedience to holy elders, these are good deeds.—No. IV.

And now the joyful chorus resounds again and again that henceforward not a single animal shall be put to death.—No. V.

In a summary of the inscriptions by Arthur Lillie, in "Buddhism and Early Buddhism," he says, they require also, for the benefit of both beast and men, "that gardens be cultivated everywhere of healing shrubs and herbs."

[The inscriptions were written on "rocks, temples, and monuments" in India for the instruction of the people, by order of the Emperor Asoka, who lived about 250 years before Christ.]


God is within this universe, and yet outside this universe; whoever beholds all living creatures as in Him, and Him the universal Spirit, as in all, henceforth regards no creature with contempt.

Quoted by Rev. J. E. Carpenter.


It fortifies my soul to know
That though I perish, truth is so,
That howsoe'er I stray and range,
Whate'er I do, thou dost not change.
I steadier step when I recall
That, if I slip, thou dost not fall.

Arthur Hugh Clough.


We, dying, fondly hope the life immortal
To win at last;
Yet all that live must through death's dreary portal
At length have passed.
And from the hope which shines so bright above us,
My spirit turns,
And for the lowlier ones, that serve and love us,
Half sadly yearns.
Never a bird its glad way safely winging
Through those blest skies?
Never, through pauses in the joyful singing,
Its notes to rise?
Not one of those who toil's severest burdens
So meekly bear,
To find at last of faithful labor's guerdons
An humble share?
Ah, well! I need not question; gladly rather,
I'll trust in all—
Assured that not without our Heavenly "Father"
The sparrows fall.
And if He foldeth in a sleep eternal
Their wings to rest;
Or waketh them to fly the skies supernal—
He knoweth best?

Mary Sheppard.


God is the causer of pleasure and light, maker of grass for the cattle, and of fruitful trees for man, causing the fish to live in the river and the birds to fill the air, lying awake when all men sleep, to seek out the good of His creatures.

Quoted by Rev. J. E. Carpenter.


There is a higher consanguinity than that of the blood which runs through our veins,—that of the blood which makes our hearts beat with the same indignation and the same joy. And there is a higher nationality than that of being governed by the same imperial dynasty,—that of our common allegiance to the Father and Ruler of all mankind.

Max Müller.



For eighty years! Many will count them over,
But none but He who knoweth all may guess
What those long years have held of high endeavor,
Of world-wide blessing and of blessedness.
For eighty years the champion of the right
Of hapless child neglected and forlorn;
Of maniac dungeoned in his double night;
Of woman overtasked and labor-worn;
Of homeless boy, in streets with peril rife;
Of workman, sickened in his airless den;
Of Indian parching for the streams of life;
Of negro slave in bond of cruel men.
O Friend of all the friendless 'neath the sun,
Whose hand hath wiped away a thousand tears,
Whose fervent lips and clear strong brain have done
God's holy service, lo! these eighty years,—
How meet it seems thy grand and vigorous age
Should find beyond man's race fresh pangs to spare,
And for the wronged and tortured brutes engage
In yet fresh labors and ungrudging care!
Oh, tarry long amongst us! Live, we pray,
Hasten not yet to hear thy Lord's "Well done!"
Let this world still seem better while it may
Contain one soul like thine amid its throng.
Whilst thou art here our inmost hearts confess,
Truth spake the kingly seer of old who said,—
"Found in the way of God and righteousness,
A crown of glory is the hoary head."

Miss F. P. Cobbe.


Pain, terror, mortal agonies which scare
Thy heart in man, to brutes thou wilt not spare.
Are these less sad and real? Pain in man
Bears the high mission of the flail and fear;
In brutes 'tis purely piteous.

Henry Taylor.


Who knows thy love most royal power,
With largess free and brave,
Which crowns the helper of the poor,
The suffering and the slave.
Yet springs as freely and as warm,
To greet the near and small,
The prosy neighbor at the farm,
The squirrel on the wall.

Eliza Scudder.


It is the simple idea of dealing with a living, conscious, sensitive, and intelligent creature as if it were dead and senseless matter, against which the whole spirit of true humanity revolts. It is the notion of such absolute despotism as shall justify, not merely taking life, but converting the entire existence of the animal into a misfortune which we denounce as a misconception of the relations between the higher and lower creatures. A hundred years ago had physiologists frankly avowed that they recognized no claims on the part of the brutes which should stop them from torturing them, they would have been only on a level with their contemporaries. But to-day they are behind the age.

As I have said ere now, the battle of Mercy, like that of Freedom,

"Once begun,
Though often lost, is always won."

Miss F. P. Cobbe.


From yon blue heavens above us bent
The grand old gardener and his wife
Smile at the claims of long descent.
Howe'er it be, it seems to me
'Tis only noble to be good;
Kind hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood.

A. Tennyson.


Yes, any act of mercy, even to the humblest and lowliest of God's creatures, is an act that brings us near to God. Although "the mercy of God," as the Psalmist says, "reaches to the heavens, although his judgments are like the great deep," yet still, as the Psalmist adds, it is the same mercy, the same justice as that which we know in ourselves. "Thou preservest both man and beast; how exalted is thy mercy, O Lord; therefore the children of men take refuge under the shadow of thy wings." That mercy which we see in the complex arrangements of the animal creation, extending down to the minutest portions of their frames—that same Divine mercy it is which we are bid to imitate. He whose soul burns with indignation against the brutal ruffian who misuses the poor, helpless, suffering horse, or dog, or ass, or bird, or worm, shares for the moment that Divine companion wrath which burns against the oppressors of the weak and defenceless everywhere. He who puts forth his hand to save from ill treatment, or add to the happiness of any of those dumb creatures, has opened his heart to that Divine compassion which our Heavenly Father has shown to the whole range of created things—which our blessed Saviour has shown to the human race, his own peculiar charge, by living and dying for us. "Be ye merciful" to dumb animals, for ye have a common nature with them. Be ye merciful, for the worst part of the nature of brutes is to be unmerciful. Be ye merciful, for ye are raised far above them, to be their appointed lords and guardians. Be ye merciful, for ye are made in the image of him who is All-Merciful and All-Compassionate.

Dean Stanley.


He beheld the poor man's need;
Bound his wounds, and with all speed
Set him on his own good steed,
And brought him to the inn.
When our Judge shall reappear,
Thinkest thou this man will hear,
Wherefore didst thou interfere
With what concerned not thee?
No! the words of Christ will run
"Whatsoever thou hast done
To the poor and suffering one
That hast thou done to me."



Thus, when Christianity announced its fundamental idea of love, it, by an immovable logic, enveloped all things in that affection, and every dumb brute of the street comes within the colored curtains of the sanctuary. The Humane Society is a branch of God's Church, and we Christian church-members are all members of all such associations, so far as we are intelligent members of the Church of Christ. Love does not mean love of me or you, but it means love always and for all.

Prof. Swing.


If children at school can be made to understand how it is just and noble to be humane even to what we term inferior animals, it will do much to give them a higher character and tone through life. There is nothing meaner than barbarous and cruel treatment of the dumb creatures, who cannot answer us or resent the misery which is so often needlessly inflicted upon them.

John Bright.


Love and charity being the basis of Christianity, it is as much a question for the Church to ask, when a person wishes to be admitted into her bosom, "Are you kind to animals?" as it is to ask, "Do you believe in such or such a doctrine?" Certainly the question would be pertinent to Christian life and consonant with the fundamental and distinguishing principle of the Christian religion; and the mere asking of it at so solemn a juncture could not but do much to assimilate and draw closer the heart and life of the novitiate to Him who sees every sparrow that falls.

E. Hathaway.


The power of feeling for animals, realizing their wants and making their pains our own, is one which is most irregularly shown by human beings. A Timon may have it, and a Howard be devoid of it. A rough shepherd's heart may overflow with it, and that of an exquisite fine gentleman and distinguished man of science may be as utterly without it as the nether millstone. One thing I think must be clear: till man has learnt to feel for all his sentient fellow-creatures, whether in human or in brutal form, of his own class and sex and country, or of another, he has not yet ascended the first step towards true civilization nor applied the first lesson from the love of God.

Miss F. P. Cobbe.


Nay, on the strength of that same element of self-sacrifice, I will not grudge the epithet "heroic" which my revered friend Darwin justly applies to the poor little monkey who once in his life did that which was above his duty; who lived in continual terror of the great baboon, and yet, when the brute had sprung upon his friend the keeper, and was tearing out his throat, conquered his fear by love, and, at the risk of instant death, sprung in turn upon his dreaded enemy, and hit and shrieked until help arrived.

Charles Kingsley.


The effect of the barbarous treatment of inferior creatures on the minds of those who practise it is still more deplorable than its effects upon the animals themselves. The man who kicks dumb brutes kicks brutality into his own heart. He who can see the wistful imploring eyes of half-starved creatures without making earnest efforts to relieve them, is on the road to lose his manhood, if he has not already lost it. And the boy who delights in torturing frogs or insects, or robbing birds'-nests, or dogging cattle and hogs wantonly and cruelly, can awaken no hope of an honorable after life.

E. Hathaway.


Oh may I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again
In minds made better by their presence: live
In pulses stirred to generosity:
In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn
For miserable aims that end with self;
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars,
And with their mild persistence urge men's search
To vaster issues.

George Eliot.


The sense of death is most in apprehension;
And the poor beetle that we tread upon,
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
As when a giant dies.

Measure for Measure, Act 3, Sc. 1.


It is little indeed that each of us can accomplish within the limits of our little day. Small indeed is the contribution which the best of us can make to the advancement of the world in knowledge and goodness. But slight though it be, if the work we do is real and noble work, it is never lost; it is taken up into and becomes an integral moment of that immortal life to which all the good and great of the past, every wise thinker, every true and tender heart, every fair and saintly spirit, have contributed, and which, never hasting, never resting, onward through ages is advancing to its consummation.

Rev. Dr. Caird.


Salt of the earth, ye virtuous few
Who season human kind!
Light of the world, whose cheering ray
Illumes the realms of mind!
Where misery spreads her deepest shade,
Your strong compassion glows;
From your blest lips the balm distils
That softens mortal woes.
Proceed: your race of glory run,
Your virtuous toils endure;
You come, commissioned from on high,
And your reward is sure.

Mrs. Barbauld.


When 'twixt the drawn forces of Night and of Morning,
Strange visions steal down to the slumbers of men,
From heaven's bright stronghold once issued a warning,
Which baffled all scorning, when brought to my ken.
Methought there descended the Saints and the Sages,
With grief-stricken aspect and wringing of hands,
Till Dreamland seemed filled with the anguish of ages,
The blots of Time's pages, the woes of all lands.
And I, who had deemed that their bliss knew no morrow
(Half vexed with their advent, half awed with their might)—
Cried, "Come ye from heaven, Earth's aspect to borrow,
To mar with weird sorrow the peace of the night?"
They answered me sternly, "Thy knowledge is mortal;
Thou hear'st not as we must, the plaints without tongue:
The wrongs that come beating the crystalline portal,
Inflicted by mortals on those who are dumb.
"Ye bleed for the nation, ye give to the altar,
Ye heal the great sorrows that clamor and cry,
Yet care not how oft 'neath the spur and the halter,
The brutes of the universe falter and die.
"Yet Jesus forgets not that while ye ensnared Him,
And drove Him with curses of burden and goad,
These gentle ones watched where the Magi declared Him,
And often have spared Him the long desert road.
"They crumble to dust; but we, watchers remaining,
Attest their endurance through centuries past,
Oh, fear! lest in future to Judgment attaining,
These woes, uncomplaining, confront you at last!"

Julia C. Verplanck.


Speak gently! it is better far
To rule by love than fear:
Speak gently! let not harsh words mar
The good we might do here.
Speak gently! 'tis a little thing,
Dropped in the heart's deep well,
The good, the joy, which it may bring,
Eternity shall tell.

O, it is excellent
To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.

Measure for Measure, Act 2, Sc. 2.


Is there not something in the pleading eye
Of the poor brute that suffers, which arraigns
The law that bids it suffer? Has it not
A claim for some remembrance in the book,
That fills its pages with the idle words
Spoken of man? Or is it only clay,
Bleeding and aching in the potter's hand,
Yet all his own to treat it as he will,
And when he will to cast it at his feet,
Shattered, dishonored, lost for evermore?
My dog loves me, but could he look beyond
His earthly master, would his love extend
To Him who—Hush! I will not doubt that He
Is better than our fears, and will not wrong
The least, the meanest of created things.

O. W. Holmes.


The heroes are not all six feet tall,
Large souls, may dwell in bodies small,
The heart that will melt with sympathy
For the poor and the weak, whoe'er it be,
Is a thing of beauty, whether it shine
In a man of forty or lad of nine.

Scattered Seed.


During his march to conquer the world, Alexander, the Macedonian, came to a people in Africa, who dwelt in a remote and secluded corner, in peaceful huts, and knew neither war nor conqueror. They led him to the hut of their chief, and placed before him golden dates, golden figs, and bread of gold. "Do you eat gold in this country?" said Alexander. "I take it for granted," replied the chief, "that thou wert able to find eatables in thine own country. For what reason, then, art thou come among us?" "Your gold has not tempted me hither," said Alexander; "but I would become acquainted with your manner and customs." "So be it," rejoined the other; "sojourn among us as long as it pleaseth thee." At, the close of this conversation two citizens entered, as into their court of justice. The plaintiff said: "I bought of this man a piece of land, and as I was making a deep drain through it, I found a treasure. This is not mine, for I only bargained for the land, and not for any treasure that might be concealed beneath it; and yet the former owner of the land will not receive it." The defendant answered: "I hope I have a conscience as well as my fellow-citizen. I sold him the land with all its contingent, as well as existing advantages, and consequently the treasure inclusively."

The chief, who was also their supreme judge, recapitulated their words, in order that the parties might see whether or not he understood them aright. Then, after some reflection, he said, "Thou hast a son, friend, I believe?" "Yes." "And thou (addressing the other) a daughter?" "Yes." "Well, then, let thy son marry thy daughter, and bestow the treasure on the young couple for a marriage portion." Alexander seemed surprised and perplexed. "Think you my sentence unjust?" the chief asked him. "Oh, no!" replied Alexander; "but it astonishes me." "And how, then," rejoined the chief, "would the case have been decided in your country?" "To confess the truth," said Alexander, "we should have taken both into custody, and have seized the treasure for the king's use." "For the king's use!" exclaimed the chief. "Does the sun shine on that country?" "Oh, yes." "Does it rain there?" "Assuredly." "Wonderful! But are there tame animals in the country that live on the grass and green herbs?" "Very many, and of many kinds." "Ay, that must then be the cause," said the chief; "for the sake of those innocent animals the all-gracious Being continues to let the sun shine and the rain drop down on your own country, since its inhabitants are unworthy of such blessings."



Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

A. Tennyson.


"What shall I do, lest life in silence pass?"
"And if it do,
And never prompt the bray of noisy brass,
What need'st thou rue?
Remember, aye the ocean-deeps are mute;
The shallows roar:
Worth is the ocean,—fame is but the bruit
Along the shore."
"What shall I do to be forever known?"
"Thy duty ever."
"This did full many who yet slept unknown."
"Oh, never, never!
Think'st thou perchance that they remain unknown
Whom thou know'st not?
By angel trumps in heaven their praise is blown—
Divine their lot."
"What shall I do to gain eternal life?"
"Discharge aright
The simple dues with which each day is rife,
Yea, with thy might.
Ere perfect scheme of action thou devise,
Will life be fled,
Where he, who ever acts as conscience cries,
Shall live though dead."



No ceremony that to great ones 'longs,
Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword,
The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
Become them with one half so good a grace
As mercy does. If he had been as you,
And you as he, you would have slipt like him;
But he, like you, would not have been so stern.

Measure for Measure, Act 2, Sc. 2.


Languor is not in your heart,
Weakness is not in your word,
Weariness not in your brow.
Ye alight in our van! at your voice.
Panic, despair flee away.
Ye move through the ranks, recall
The stragglers, refresh the outworn,
Praise, reinspire the brave.
Order, courage return;
Eyes rekindling, and prayers
Follow your steps as you go.
Ye fill up the gaps in our files,
Strengthen the wavering line,
Stablish, continue our march,
On, to the bound of the waste,
On, to the City of God.

Matthew Arnold.



Be kind to dumb creatures, be gentle, be true,
For food and protection they look up to you;
For affection and help to your bounty they turn.
Oh, do not their trusting hearts wantonly spurn!
Be kind to dumb creatures, nor grudge them your care,
God gave them their life, and your love they must share;
And He who the sparrow's fall tenderly heeds,
Will lovingly look on compassionate deeds.
The brave are the tender,—then do not refuse
To carefully cherish the brutes you must use;
Make their life's labor sweet, not dreary and sad,
Their working and serving you, easy and glad.
Chorus: "Be kind," etc.
He made them and blessed them, the least are his care:
The swallow that wings her swift flight through the air,
The dog on your hearthstone, the horse in your barn,
The cow in your pasture, the sheep on your farm.
Chorus: "Be kind," etc.

Our Dumb Animals.


Do something! do it soon! with all thy might;
An angel's wing would droop if long at rest,
And God inactive were no longer blest.
Some high or humble enterprise of good
Contemplate till it shall possess thy mind,
Become thy study, pastime, rest, and food,
And kindle in thy heart a flame refined:
Pray heaven for firmness thy whole soul to bind
To this high purpose: to begin, pursue,
With thoughts all fixed, and feelings purely kind;
Strength to complete, and with delight review,
And strength to give the praise where all is due.



The measureless gulfs of air are full of Thee:
Thou art, and therefore hang the stars: they wait
And swim, and shine in God who bade them be,
And hold their sundering voids inviolate.
A God concerned (veiled in pure light) to bless,
With sweet revealing of his love, the soul;
Towards things piteous, full of piteousness;
The Cause, the Life, and the continuing Whole.
He is more present to all things He made
Than anything unto itself can be;
Full-foliaged boughs of Eden could not shade
Afford, since God was also 'neath the tree.

Jean Ingelow.


Be firm and be faithful; desert not the right;
The brave are the bolder, the darker the night;
Then up and be doing, though cowards may fail;
Thy duty pursuing, dare all, and prevail.
If scorn be thy portion, if hatred and loss,
If stripes or a prison, remember the cross!
God watches above thee, and He will requite;
Stand firm and be faithful, desert not the right.

Norman Mcleod.


Our hearts' pure service, Love, be thine,
Who clothest all with rights divine,
Whose great Soul burns, though ne'er so dim,
In all that walk, or fly, or swim.
All Father! who on Mercy's throne
Hear'st thy dumb creatures' faintest moan,—
Thy love be ours, and ours shall be
Returned in deeds to thine and Thee.

Rev. H. Bernard Carpenter.


Sweet morn! from countless cups of gold
Thou liftest reverently on high
More incense fine than earth can hold,
To fill the sky.
The lark by his own carol blest,
From thy green harbors eager springs;
And his large heart in little breast
Exulting sings.
The fly his jocund round unweaves,
With choral strain the birds salute
The voiceful flocks, and nothing grieves,
And naught is mute.
To thousand tasks of fruitful hope,
With skill against his toil, man bends
And finds his work's determined scope
Where'er he wends.
From earth, and earthly toil and strife,
To deathless aims his love may rise,
Each dawn may wake to better life,
With purer eyes.

John Sterling.


In holy books we read how God hath spoken
To holy men in many different ways;
But hath the present worked no sign nor token?
Is God quite silent in these latter days?
The word were but a blank, a hollow sound,
If He that spake it were not speaking still;
If all the light and all the shade around
Were aught but issues of Almighty Will.
So, then, believe that every bird that sings,
And every flower that stars the elastic sod,
And every thought the happy summer brings,
To the pure spirit is a word of God.

Hartley Coleridge.


At Atri in Abruzzo, a small town
Of ancient Roman date, but scant renown,
One of those little places that have run
Half up the hill, beneath a blazing sun,
And then sat down to rest, as if to say,
"I climb no farther upward, come what may,"—
The Re Giovanni, now unknown to fame,
So many monarchs since have borne the name,
Had a great bell hung in the market-place
Beneath a roof, projecting some small space,
By way of shelter from the sun and rain.
Then rode he through the streets with all his train,
And, with the blast of trumpets loud and long,
Made proclamation, that whenever wrong
Was done to any man, he should but ring
The great bell in the square, and he, the King,
Would cause the Syndic to decide thereon.
Such was the proclamation of King John.
How swift the happy days in Atri sped,
What wrongs were righted, need not here be said.
Suffice it that, as all things must decay,
The hempen rope at length was worn away,
Unravelled at the end, and strand by strand,
Loosened and wasted in the ringer's hand,
Till one, who noted this in passing by,
Mended the rope with braids of briony,
So that the leaves and tendrils of the vine
Hung like a votive garland at a shrine.
By chance it happened that in Atri dwelt
A knight, with spur on heel and sword in belt,
Who loved to hunt the wild-boar in the woods,
Who loved his falcons with their crimson hoods,
Who loved his hounds and horses, and all sports
And prodigalities of camps and courts;—
Loved, or had loved them: for at last, grown old,
His only passion was the love of gold.
He sold his horses, sold his hawks and hounds,
Rented his vineyards and his garden-grounds,
Kept but one steed, his favorite steed of all,
To starve and shiver in a naked stall,
And day by day sat brooding in his chair,
Devising plans how best to hoard and spare.
At length he said: "What is the use or need
To keep at my own cost this lazy steed,
Eating his head off in my stables here,
When rents are low and provender is dear?
Let him go feed upon the public ways;
I want him only for the holidays."
So the old steed was turned into the heat
Of the long, lonely, silent, shadeless street;
And wandered in suburban lanes forlorn,
Barked at by dogs, and torn by brier and thorn.
One afternoon, as in that sultry clime
It is the custom in the summer-time,
With bolted doors and window-shutters closed,
The inhabitants of Atri slept or dozed;
When suddenly upon their senses fell
The loud alarum of the accusing bell!
The Syndic started from his deep repose,
Turned on his couch, and listened, and then rose
And donned his robes, and with reluctant pace
Went panting forth into the market-place,
Where the great bell upon its cross-beam swung
Reiterating with persistent tongue,
In half-articulate jargon, the old song:
"Some one hath done a wrong, hath done a wrong!"
But ere he reached the belfry's light arcade
He saw, or thought he saw, beneath its shade,
No shape of human form of woman born,
But a poor steed dejected and forlorn,
Who with uplifted head and eager eye
Was tugging at the vines of briony.
"Domeneddio!" cried the Syndic straight,
"This is the Knight of Atri's steed of state!
He calls for justice, being sore distressed,
And pleads his cause as loudly as the best."
Meanwhile from street and lane a noisy crowd
Had rolled together like a summer cloud,
And told the story of the wretched beast
In five-and-twenty different ways at least,
With much gesticulation and appeal
To heathen gods, in their excessive zeal.
The Knight was called and questioned; in reply
Did not confess the fact, did not deny;
Treated the matter as a pleasant jest,
And set at naught the Syndic and the rest,
Maintaining, in an angry undertone,
That he should do what pleased him with his own.
And thereupon the Syndic gravely read
The proclamation of the King; then said:
"Pride goeth forth on horseback grand and gay,
But cometh back on foot, and begs its way;
Fame is the fragrance of heroic deeds,
Of flowers of chivalry and not of weeds!
These are familiar proverbs; but I fear
They never yet have reached your knightly ear.
What fair renown, what honor, what repute
Can come to you from starving this poor brute?
He who serves well and speaks not, merits more
Then they who clamor loudest at the door.
Therefore the law decrees that, as this steed
Served you in youth, henceforth you shall take heed
To comfort his old age, and to provide
Shelter in stall, and food and field beside."
The Knight withdrew abashed; the people all
Led home the steed in triumph to his stall.
The King heard and approved, and laughed in glee,
And cried aloud: "Right well it pleaseth me!
Church-bells at best but ring us to the door;
But go not in to mass; my bell doth more:
It cometh into court and pleads the cause
Of creatures dumb and unknown to the laws;
And this shall make, in every Christian clime,
The Bell of Atri famous for all time."

Tales of a Wayside Inn, second day, 1872.


"Yes, well your story pleads the cause
Of those dumb mouths that have no speech,
Only a cry from each to each
In its own kind, with its own laws;
Something that is beyond the reach
Of human power to learn or teach,—
An inarticulate moan of pain,
Like the immeasurable main
Breaking upon an unknown beach."
Thus spake the poet with a sigh;
Then added, with impassioned cry,
As one who feels the words he speaks,
The color flushing in his cheeks,
The fervor burning in his eye:
"Among the noblest in the land,
Though he may count himself the least,
That man I honor and revere
Who without favor, without fear,
In the great city dares to stand
The friend of every friendless beast,
And tames with his unflinching hand
The brutes that wear our form and face,
The were-wolves of the human race!"

Tales of a Wayside Inn, second day, 1872.


Mr. George Herbert's love to music was such that he went usually twice every week, on certain appointed days, to the Cathedral Church in Salisbury. When rector of Bemerton, in one of his walks to Salisbury, he saw a poor man with a poorer horse, that was fallen under his load; they were both in distress, and needed present help, which Mr. Herbert perceiving, put off his canonical coat and helped the poor man to unload, and after to load his horse. The poor man blessed him for it, and he blessed the poor man; and was so like the good Samaritan, that he gave him money to refresh both himself and his horse; and told him, "That if he loved himself, he should be merciful to his beast."

Thus he left the poor man: and at his coming to his musical friends at Salisbury, they began to wonder that Mr. George Herbert, who used to be so trim and clean, came into that company so soiled and discomposed; but he told them the occasion. And when one of the company told him "he had disparaged himself by so dirty an employment," his answer was: "That the thought of what he had done would prove music to him at midnight; and that the omission of it would have upbraided and made discord in his conscience, whensoever he should pass by that place; for if I be bound to pray for all that be in distress, I am sure that I am bound, so far at it is in my power, to practise what I pray for. And though I do not wish for a like occasion every day, yet let me tell you, I would not willingly pass one day of my life without comforting a sad soul, or showing mercy, and I praise God for this occasion."

Izaak Walton's Lives.


Hast thou given the horse strength?
Hast thou clothed his neck with his trembling mane?
Hast thou taught him to bound like the locust?
How majestic his snorting! how terrible!
He paweth in the valley; he exulteth in his strength,
And rusheth into the midst of arms.
He laugheth at fear; he trembleth not,
And turneth not back from the sword.
Against him rattle the quiver,
The flaming spear, and the lance.
With rage and fury he devoureth the ground;
He will not believe that the trumpet soundeth.
At every blast of the trumpet, he saith, Aha!
And snuffeth the battle afar off,—
The thunder of the captains, and the war-shout.

Job, chap. 39, Noyes' Translation.



When Allah's breath created first
The noble Arab steed,—
The conqueror of all his race
In courage and in speed,—
To the South-wind He spake: From thee
A creature shall have birth,
To be the bearer of my arms
And my renown on earth.
Then to the perfect horse He spake:
Fortune to thee I bring;
Fortune, as long as rolls the earth,
Shall to thy forelock cling.
Without a pinion winged thou art,
And fleetest with thy load;
Bridled art thou without a rein,
And spurred without a goad.

Bayard Taylor.


Come, my beauty! come, my desert darling!
On my shoulder lay thy glossy head!
Fear not, though the barley-sack be empty,
Here's the half of Hassan's scanty bread.
Thou shalt have thy share of dates, my beauty!
And thou know'st my water-skin is free:
Drink and welcome, for the wells are distant,
And my strength and safety lie in thee.
Bend thy forehead now, to take my kisses!
Lift in love thy dark and splendid eye:
Thou art glad when Hassan mounts the saddle,—
Thou art proud he owns thee: so am I.
Let the Sultan bring his boasted horses,
Prancing with their diamond-studded reins;
They, my darling, shall not match thy fleetness
When they course with thee the desert plains!
We have seen Damascus, O my beauty!
And the splendor of the Pashas there;
What's their pomp and riches? why, I would not
Take them for a handful of thy hair!

Bayard Taylor.


Yet pity for a horse o'erdriven,
And love in which my hound has part,
Can hang no weight upon my heart,
In its assumptions up to heaven:
And I am so much more than these
As thou, perchance, art more than I,
And yet I would spare them sympathy,
And I would set their pains at ease.

Tennyson's In Memoriam.


Gamarra is a dainty steed,
Strong, black, and of a noble breed,
Full of fire, and full of bone,
With all his line of fathers known;
Fine his nose, his nostrils thin,
But blown abroad by the pride within!
His mane is like a river flowing,
And his eyes like embers glowing
In the darkness of the night,
And his pace as swift as light.
Look,—how 'round his straining throat
Grace and shining beauty float!
Sinewy strength is in his reins,
And the red blood gallops through his veins—
Richer, redder, never ran
Through the boasting heart of man.
He can trace his lineage higher
Than the Bourbon dare aspire,—
Douglas, Guzman, or the Guelph,
Or O'Brien's blood itself!
He, who hath no peer, was born,
Here upon a red March morn;
But his famous fathers dead
Were Arabs all, and Arabs bred,
And the last of that great line
Trod like one of a race divine!
And yet,—he was but friend to one
Who fed him at the set of sun
By some lone fountain fringed with green;
With him, a roving Bedouin,
He lived (none else would he obey
Through all the hot Arabian day),—
And died untamed upon the sands
Where Balkh amidst the desert stands!

Barry Cornwall.


The king looked on him kindly, as on a vassal true;
Then to the king Ruy Diaz spake, after reverence due,
"O king! the thing is shameful, that any man beside
The liege lord of Castile himself, should Bavieca ride.
"For neither Spain nor Araby could another charger bring
So good as he, and certes, the best befits my king,
But, that you may behold him, and know him to the core,
I'll make him go as he was wont when his nostrils smelt the Moor."
With that the Cid, clad as he was, in mantle furred and wide,
On Bavieca vaulting, put the rowel in his side;
And up and down, and round and round, so fierce was his career,
Streamed like a pennon on the wind, Ruy Diaz' minivere.
And all that saw them praised them,—they lauded man and horse,
As matchéd well, and rivals for gallantry and force;
Ne'er had they looked on horsemen might to this knight come near,
Nor on other charger worthy of such a cavalier.
Thus, to and fro a-rushing, the fierce and furious steed,
He snapped in twain his nether rein: "God pity now the Cid!
God pity Diaz!" cried the lords,—but when they looked again,
They saw Ruy Diaz ruling him with the fragment of his rein;
They saw him proudly ruling with gesture firm and calm,
Like a true lord commanding, and obeyed as by a lamb.
And so he led him foaming and panting to the king,
But, "No," said Don Alphonso, "it were a shameful thing,
That peerless Bavieca should ever be bestrid
By any mortal but Bivar,—mount, mount again, my Cid!"

Lockhart's Spanish Ballads.


Word was brought to the Danish king,
That the love of his heart lay suffering,
And pined for the comfort his voice would bring;
(Oh! ride as though you were flying!)
Better he loves each golden curl
On the brow of that Scandinavian girl
Than his rich crown-jewels of ruby and pearl;
And his Rose of the Isles is dying.
Thirty nobles saddled with speed;
Each one mounted a gallant steed
Which he kept for battle and days of need;
(Oh! ride as though you were flying!)
Spurs were struck in the foaming flank;
Worn-out chargers staggered and sank;
Bridles were slackened, and girths were burst:
But ride as they would, the king rode first;
For his Rose of the Isles lay dying.
His nobles are beaten, one by one;
They have fainted, and faltered, and homeward gone;
His little fair page now follows alone,
For strength and for courage trying,
The king looked back at that faithful child:
Wan was the face that answering smiled.
They passed the drawbridge with clattering din:
Then he dropped; and only the king rode in
Where his Rose of the Isles lay dying.
The king blew a blast on his bugle horn;
No answer came, but faint and forlorn
An echo returned on the cold gray morn,
Like the breath of a spirit sighing.
The castle portal stood grimly wide;
None welcomed the king from that weary ride;
For, dead in the light of the dawning day,
The pale sweet form of the welcomer lay,
Who had yearned for his voice while dying.
The panting steed with a drooping crest
Stood weary.
The king returned from her chamber of rest,
The thick sobs choking in his breast;
And that dumb companion eying,
The tears gushed forth, which he strove to check;
He bowed his head on his charger's neck:
"O steed, that every nerve didst strain,
Dear steed, our ride hath been in vain,
To the halls where my love lay dying!"

Caroline Elizabeth Norton.

Go forth under the open sky and list
To Nature's teachings.



"Yesterday we buried my pretty brown mare under the wild-cherry tree. End of poor Bess."

When a human being dies,
Seeming scarce so good or wise,
Scarce so high in scale of mind
As the horse he leaves behind,
"Lo," we cry, "the fleeting spirit
Doth a newer garb inherit;
Through eternity doth soar,
Growing, greatening, evermore."
But our beautiful dumb creatures
Yield their gentle, generous natures,
With their mute, appealing eyes,
Haunted by earth's mysteries,
Wistfully upon us cast,
Loving, trusting, to the last;
And we arrogantly say,
"They have had their little day;
Nothing of them but was clay."
Has all perished? Was no mind
In that graceful form enshrined?
Can the love that filled those eyes
With most eloquent replies,
When the glossy head close pressing,
Grateful met your hand's caressing;
Can the mute intelligence,
Baffling oft our human sense
With strange wisdom, buried be
"Under the wild-cherry tree?"
Are these elements that spring
In a daisy's blossoming,
Or in long dark grasses wave
Plume-like o'er your favorite's grave?
Can they live in us, and fade
In all else that God has made!
Is there aught of harm believing
That, some newer form receiving,
They may find a wider sphere,
Live a larger life than here?
That the meek, appealing eyes,
Haunted by strange mysteries,
Find a more extended field,
To new destinies unsealed;
Or that in the ripened prime
Of some far-off summer time,
Ranging that unknown domain,
We may find our pets again?

Helen Barron Bostwick.


A Bedouin of true honor, good Nebar,
Possessed a horse whose fame was spread afar;
No other horse was half so proud and strong;
His feet were like the north wind swept along;
In his curved neck, and in his flashing eye,
You saw the harbingers of victory.
So, many came to Nebar day by day,
And longed to take his noble horse away;
Large sums they offered, and with grace besought.
But, all in vain; the horse could not be bought.
With these came Daher, of another tribe,
To see if he might not the owner bribe;
Yet purposeless,—no money, skill, nor breath
Could part the owner from his horse till death.
Then Daher, who was subtle, mean, and sly,
Concluded, next, some stratagem to try;
So, clothed in rags, and masked in form and face,
He as a beggar walked with limping pace,
And, meeting Nebar with the horse one day,
He fell, and prostrate on the desert lay.
The ruse succeeded; for, when Nebar found
A helpless man in sorrow on the ground,
He took him up, and on the noble steed
Gave him a place; but what a thankless deed!
For Daher shouted, laughed, and, giving rein,
Said, "You will never see your horse again!"
"Take him," said Nebar, "but, for Mercy's sake,
Tell no man in what way you choose to take,
Lest others, seeing what has happened me,
Omit to do some needed charity."
Pierced by these words, the robber's keen remorse
Thwarted his plan, and he returned the horse,
Shame-faced and sorrowful; then slunk away
As if he feared the very light of day!



Your horse is faint, my King, my lord! your gallant horse is sick,—
His limbs are torn, his breast is gored, on his eye the film is thick;
Mount, mount on mine, O mount apace, I pray thee, mount and fly!
Or in my arms I'll lift your Grace,—their trampling hoofs are nigh!
My King, my King! you're wounded sore,—the blood runs from your feet;
But only lay a hand before, and I'll lift you to your seat;
Mount, Juan, for they gather fast!—I hear their coming cry,—
Mount, mount, and ride for jeopardy,—I'll save you, though I die!
Stand, noble steed! this hour of need,—be gentle as a lamb;
I'll kiss the foam from off thy mouth,—thy master dear I am,—
Mount, Juan, mount; whate'er betide, away the bridle fling,
Drive on, drive on with utmost speed,—My horse shall save my King!

Lockart's Spanish Ballads.

"BAY BILLY."—(Extracts.)

At last from out the centre fight
Spurred up a general's aid.
"That battery must silenced be!"
He cried, as past he sped.
Our colonel simply touched his cap,
And then, with measured tread,
To lead the crouching line once more
The grand old fellow came.
No wounded man but raised his head
And strove to gasp his name,
And those who could not speak nor stir,
"God blessed him" just the same.
This time we were not half-way up,
When, midst the storm of shell,
Our leader, with his sword upraised,
Beneath our bayonets fell.
And, as we bore him back, the foe
Set up a joyous yell.
Just then before the laggard line
The colonel's horse we spied,
Bay Billy with his trappings on,
His nostrils swelling wide,
As though still on his gallant back
The master sat astride.
Right royally he took the place
That was of old his wont,
And with a neigh that seemed to say,
Above the battle's brunt,
"How can the Twenty-second charge
If I am not in front?"
No bugle-call could rouse us all
As that brave sight had done.
Down all the battered line we felt
A lightning impulse run.
Up! up! the hill we followed Bill,
And we captured every gun!
And then the dusk and dew of night
Fell softly o'er the plain,
As though o'er man's dread work of death
The angels wept again,
And drew night's curtain gently round
A thousand beds of pain.
At last the morning broke. The lark
Sang in the merry skies
As if to e'en the sleepers there
It bade awake, and rise!
Though naught but that last trump of all
Could ope their heavy eyes.
And as in faltering tone and slow,
The last few names were said,
Across the field some missing horse
Toiled up with weary tread,
It caught the sergeant's eye, and quick
Bay Billy's name he read.
Not all the shoulder-straps on earth
Could still our mighty cheer;
And ever from that famous day,
When rang the roll-call clear,
Bay Billy's name was read, and then
The whole line answered, "Here!"

Frank H. Gassaway.

We cannot kindle when we will,
The fire that in the heart resides;
But tasks in hours of insight willed,
Can be through hours of gloom fulfilled.

M. Arnold.



What was it, that passed like an ominous breath—
Like a shiver of fear, or a touch of death?
What is it? The valley is peaceful still,
And the leaves are afire on top of the hill.
It was not a sound—nor a thing of sense—
But a pain, like the pang of the short suspense
That thrills the being of those who see
At their feet the gulf of Eternity!
The air of the valley has felt the chill:
The workers pause at the door of the mill;
The housewife, keen to the shivering air,
Arrests her foot on the cottage stair,
Instinctive taught by the mother-love,
And thinks of the sleeping ones above.
Why start the listeners? Why does the course
Of the mill-stream widen? Is it a horse—
Hark to the sound of his hoofs, they say—
That gallops so wildly Williamsburg way!
God! what was that, like a human shriek
From the winding valley? Will nobody speak?
Will nobody answer those women who cry
As the awful warnings thunder by?
Whence come they? Listen! And now they hear
The sound of galloping horse-hoofs near;
They watch the trend of the vale, and see
The rider who thunders so menacingly,
With waving arms and warning scream
To the home-filled banks of the valley stream.
He draws no rein, but he shakes the street
With a shout and the ring of the galloping feet;
And this the cry he flings to the wind;
"To the hills for your lives! The flood is behind!"
But onward still,
In front of the roaring flood is heard
The galloping horse and the warning word.
Thank God! the brave man's life is spared!
From Williamsburg town he nobly dared
To race with the flood and take the road
In front of the terrible swath it mowed.
For miles it thundered and crashed behind,
But he looked ahead with a steadfast mind;
"They must be warned!" was all he said,
As away on his terrible ride he sped.

John Boyle O'Reilly.


A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet:
That was all! and yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders, that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.
It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.
It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.
You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farm-yard wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

H. W. Longfellow.

SHERIDAN'S RIDE.—(Extracts.)

Up from the South at break of day,
Bringing to Winchester fresh dismay,
The affrighted air with a shudder bore,
Like a herald in haste, to the chieftain's door
The terrible grumble, and rumble, and roar,
Telling the battle was on once more,
And Sheridan twenty miles away.
But there is a road from Winchester town,
A good broad highway leading down;
And there, through the flush of the morning light,
A steed as black as the steeds of night,
Was seen to pass, as with eagle flight,
As if he knew the terrible need;
He stretched away with his utmost speed;
Hills rose and fell; but his heart was gay,
With Sheridan fifteen miles away.
Under his spurning feet the road
Like an arrowy Alpine river flowed,
And the landscape sped away behind
Like an ocean flying before the wind,
And the steed, like a bark fed with furnace fire,
Swept on, with his wild eye full of ire.
But lo! he is nearing his heart's desire;
He is snuffing the smoke of the roaring fray,
With Sheridan only five miles away.
The first that the general saw were the groups
Of stragglers, and then the retreating troops,
What was done? what to do? a glance told him both,
Then striking his spurs, with a terrible oath,
He dashed down the line, mid a storm of huzzas,
And the wave of retreat checked its course there, because
The sight of the master compelled it to pause.
With foam and with dust the black charger was gray;
By the flash of his eye, and the red nostril's play,
He seemed to the whole great army to say,
"I have brought you Sheridan all the way
From Winchester down, to save the day!"
Hurrah! hurrah for Sheridan!
Hurrah! hurrah for horse and man!
And when their statues are placed on high,
Under the dome of the Union sky,
The American soldiers' Temple of Fame;
There with the glorious general's name,
Be it said, in letters both bold and bright,
"Here is the steed that saved the day,
By carrying Sheridan into the fight,
From Winchester, twenty miles away!"

Thomas Buchanan Read.

GOOD NEWS TO AIX.—(Extract.)

I sprang to the stirrup, and Joris and he;
I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three;
"Good speed!" cried the watch as the gate-bolts undrew,
"Speed!" echoed the wall to us galloping through.
Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest,
And into the midnight we galloped abreast.
Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace,—
Neck by neck, stride by stride, never changing our place;
I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight,
Then shortened each stirrup and set the pique right,
Rebuckled the check-strap, chained slacker the bit,
Nor galloped less steadily Roland a whit.
'Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near
Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear;
At Boom a great yellow star came out to see;
At Düffeld 'twas morning as plain as could be;
And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the half-chime,—
So Joris broke silence with "Yet there is time!"
At Aerschot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,
And against him the cattle stood, black every one,
To stare through the mist at us galloping past,
And I saw my stout galloper, Roland, at last,
With resolute shoulders, each butting away
The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray.

(But "Roos" and the "Roan" fell dead on the way; the latter, when Aix was in sight!)
And there was my Roland to bear the whole weight
Of the news which alone could save Aix from her fate,
With his nostrils like pits full of blood to the brim,
And with circles of red for his eye-sockets' rim.
Then I cast loose my buff-coat, each holster let fall,
Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all,
Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,
Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse without peer;
Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad or good,
Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.
And all I remember is, friends flocking round
As I sat with his head 'twixt my knees on the ground,
And no voice but was praising this Roland of mine,
As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine,
Which (the burgesses voted by common consent)
Was no more than his due who brought good news from Ghent.

Robert Browning.


Only a fallen horse, stretched out there on the road,
Stretched in the broken shafts, and crushed by the heavy load;
Only a fallen horse, and a circle of wondering eyes
Watching the 'frighted teamster goading the beast to rise.
Hold! for his toil is over—no more labor for him;
See the poor neck outstretched, and the patient eyes grow dim;
See on the friendly stones now peacefully rests his head—
Thinking, if dumb beasts think, how good it is to be dead;
After the burdened journey, how restful it is to lie
With the broken shafts and the cruel load—waiting only to die.
Watchers, he died in harness—died in the shafts and straps—
Fell, and the great load killed him; one of the day's mishaps—
One of the passing wonders marking the city road—
A toiler dying in harness, heedless of call or goad.
Passers, crowding the pathway, staying your steps awhile,
What is the symbol? "Only death? why should you cease to smile
At death for a beast of burden?" On through the busy street
That is ever and ever echoing the tread of the hurrying feet!
What was the sign? A symbol to touch the tireless will.
Does he who taught in parables speak in parables still?
The seed on the rock is wasted—on heedless hearts of men,
That gather and sow and grasp and lose—labor and sleep—and then—
Then for the prize! A crowd in the street of ever-echoing tread—
The toiler, crushed by the heavy load, is there in his harness—dead.

John Boyle


For my part, I cannot but charge his using his servants like so many beasts of burden, and turning them off, or selling them when they grew old, to the account of a mean and ungenerous spirit which thinks that the sole tie between man and man is interest or necessity. But goodness moves in a larger sphere than justice. The obligations of law and equity reach only to mankind, but kindness and beneficence should be extended to creatures of every species; and these still flow from the breast of a well-natured man, as streams that issue from the living fountain. A good man will take care of his horses and dogs, not only while they are young, but when old and past service. Thus the people of Athens, when they had finished the temple called Hecatompedon, set at liberty the beasts of burden that had been chiefly employed in the work, suffering them to pasture at large, free from any other service. It is said that one of these afterwards came of its own accord to work, and, putting itself at the head of the laboring cattle, marched before them to the citadel. This pleased the people, and they made a decree that it should be kept at the public charge so long as it lived. The graves of Cimon's mares, with which he thrice conquered at the Olympic games, are still to be seen near his own tomb. Many have shown particular marks of regard, in burying the dogs which they had cherished and been fond of; and amongst the rest Xantippus of old, whose dog swam by the side of his galley to Salamis, when the Athenians were forced to abandon their city, and was afterwards buried by him upon a promontory, which to this day is called the Dog's Grave. We certainly ought not to treat living creatures like shoes or household goods, which, when worn out with use, we throw away; and were it only to learn benevolence to humankind, we should be merciful to other creatures. For my own part, I would not sell even an old ox that had labored for me; much less would I remove, for the sake of a little money, a man grown old in my service, from his usual lodgings and diet; for to him, poor man! it would be as bad as banishment, since he could be of no more use to the buyer than he was to the seller. But Cato, as if he took a pride in these things, tells us, that when consul, he left his war-horse in Spain to save the public the charge of his conveyance. Whether such things as these are instances of greatness or littleness of soul, let the reader judge for himself.

From "Cato the Censor," in the "Lives."


The gentleness of chivalry, properly so called, depends on the recognition of the order and awe of lower and loftier animal life, first clearly taught in the myth of Chiron, and in his bringing up of Jason, Æsculapius, and Achilles, but most perfectly by Homer, in the fable of the horses of Achilles, and the part assigned to them, in relation to the death of his friend, and in prophecy of his own. There is, perhaps, in all the "Iliad," nothing more deep in significance—there is nothing in all literature more perfect in human tenderness, and honor for the mystery of inferior life—than the verses that describe the sorrow of the divine horses at the death of Patroclus, and the comfort given them by the greatest of gods.



Sir Robert Clayton, a British cavalry officer, says of some war horses which had been humanely turned out to perpetual pasture, that while the horses were grazing on one occasion, a violent thunderstorm arose; at once the animals fell into line and faced the blazing lightning under an impression that it was the flash of artillery and the fire of battle.


Once into a quiet village,
Without haste and without heed,
In the golden prime of morning,
Strayed the poet's wingèd steed.
It was Autumn, and incessant
Piped the quails from shocks and sheaves,
And, like living coals, the apples
Burned among the withering leaves.
Loud the clamorous bell was ringing
From its belfry gaunt and grim;
'Twas the daily call to labor,
Not a triumph meant for him.
Not the less he saw the landscape,
In its gleaming vapor veiled;
Not the less he breathed the odors
That the dying leaves exhaled.
Thus, upon the village common,
By the school-boys he was found;
And the wise men, in their wisdom,
Put him straightway into pound.
Then the sombre village crier,
Ringing loud his brazen bell,
Wandered down the street proclaiming:
There was an estray to sell.
And the curious country people,
Rich and poor, and young and old,
Came in haste to see the wondrous
Wingèd steed with mane of gold.
Thus the day passed, and the evening
Fell, with vapors cold and dim;
But it brought no food nor shelter,
Brought no straw nor stall, for him.
Patiently, and still expectant,
Looked he through the wooden bars,
Saw the moon rise o'er the landscape.
Saw the tranquil, patient stars;
Till at length the bell at midnight
Sounded from its dark abode,
And, from out a neighboring farm-yard,
Loud the cock Alectryon crowed.
Then, with nostrils wide distended,
Breaking from his iron chain,
And unfolding far his pinions,
To those stars he soared again.
On the morrow, when the village
Woke to all its toil and care,
Lo! the strange steed had departed,
And they knew not when nor where.
But they found, upon the greensward
Where his struggling hoofs had trod,
Pure and bright, a fountain flowing
From the hoof-marks in the sod.
From that hour, the fount unfailing
Gladdens the whole region round,
Strengthening all who drink its waters,
While it soothes them with its sound.

H. W. Longfellow.


Nay, the man hath no wit, that cannot, from the rising of the lark to the lodging of the lamb, vary deserved praise on my palfrey; it is a theme as fluent as the sea; turn the sands into eloquent tongues, and my horse is argument for them all; 'tis a subject for a sovereign to reason on, and for a sovereign's sovereign to ride on; and for the world (familiar to us and unknown), to lay apart their particular functions and wonder at him.

Henry V. Act 3, Sec. 7.


Our steeds are impatient! I hear my blithe Gray!
There is life in his hoof-clang, and hope in his neigh;
Like the flash of a meteor, the glance of his mane
Shall marshal your march through the darkness and rain.

Walter Scott.


The proud steed bends his stately neck
And patient waits his master's word,
While Fido listens for his step,
Welcome, whenever heard.
King Charlie shakes his curly ears,
Secure his home, no harm he fears;
Above the peaceful pigeons coo
Their happy hymn, the long day through.
What means this scene of quiet joy,
This peaceful scene without alloy!
Kind words, kind care, and tender thought
This picture beautiful have wrought.
Its lesson tells of care for all
God's creatures, whether great or small,
And they who love "the least of these,"
Are sure a loving God to please.

Our Dumb Animals.



Whither, 'midst falling dew,
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day
Far through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue
Thy solitary way?
Vainly the fowler's eye
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.
Seek'st thou the plashy brink
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
Or where the rocking billows rise and sink
On the chafed ocean side?
There is a Power whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,—
The desert and illimitable air,—
Lone wandering, but not lost.
All day thy wings have fanned,
At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere;
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
Though the dark night is near.
And soon that toil shall end;
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest
And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend
Some o'er thy sheltered nest.
Thou'rt gone—the abyss of heaven
Hath swallowed up thy form—yet on my heart
Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,
And shall not soon depart.
He, who from zone to zone
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone
Will lead my steps aright.

W. C. Bryant.


Through my north window, in the wintry weather,—
My airy oriel on the river shore,—
I watch the sea-fowl as they flock together
Where late the boatman flashed his dripping oar.
I see the solemn gulls in council sitting
On some broad ice-floe, pondering long and late,
While overhead the home-bound ducks are flitting,
And leave the tardy conclave in debate,
Those weighty questions in their breasts revolving,
Whose deeper meaning science never learns,
Till at some reverend elder's look dissolving,
The speechless senate silently adjourns.
He knows you! "sportsman" from suburban alleys,
Stretched under seaweed in the treacherous punt;
Knows every lazy, shiftless lout that sallies
Forth to waste powder—as he says, to "hunt."
I watch you with a patient satisfaction,
Well pleased to discount your predestined luck;
The float that figures in your sly transaction
Will carry back a goose, but not a duck.
Shrewd is our bird; not easy to outwit him!
Sharp is the outlook of those pin-head eyes;
Still, he is mortal and a shot may hit him;
One cannot always miss him if he tries!
O Thou who carest for the falling sparrow,
Canst Thou the sinless sufferer's pang forget?
Or is thy dread account-book's page so narrow
Its one long column scores thy creature's debt?
Poor, gentle guest, by nature kindly cherished,
A world grows dark with thee in blinding death;
One little gasp,—thy universe has perished,
Wrecked by the idle thief who stole thy breath!

From "My Aviary," by O. W. Holmes.


Across the narrow beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I,
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
The scattered driftwood bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,—
One little sandpiper and I.
Above our heads the sullen clouds
Scud black and swift across the sky;
Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
Stand out the white lighthouses high.
Almost as far as eye can reach,
I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
As fast we flit along the beach,—
One little sandpiper and I.
I watch him as he skims along,
Uttering his sweet and mournful cry.
He starts not at my fitful song,
Or flash of fluttering drapery.
He has no thought of any wrong;
He scans me with a fearless eye.
Staunch friends are we, well tried and strong,
The little sandpiper and I.
Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night,
When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
My driftwood fire will burn so bright!
To what warm shelter canst thou fly?
I do not fear for thee, though wroth
The tempest rushes through the sky:
For are we not God's children both,
Thou, little sandpiper, and I?

Celia Thaxter.


The robin and the bluebird, piping loud,
Filled all the blossoming orchards with their glee;
The sparrows chirped as if they still were proud
Their race in Holy Writ should mentioned be;
And hungry crows, assembled in a crowd,
Clamored their piteous prayer incessantly,
Knowing who hears the ravens cry, and said:
"Give us, O Lord, this day our daily bread!"

Thus came the jocund Spring in Killingworth,
In fabulous days, some hundred years ago;
And thrifty farmers, as they tilled the earth,
Heard with alarm the cawing of the crow,
That mingled with the universal mirth,
Cassandra-like, prognosticating woe;
They shook their heads, and doomed with dreadful words
To swift destruction the whole race of birds.
And a town-meeting was convened straightway
To set a price upon the guilty heads
Of these marauders, who, in lieu of pay,
Levied black-mail upon the garden beds
And cornfields, and beheld without dismay
The awful scarecrow, with his fluttering shreds;
The skeleton that waited at their feast,
Whereby their sinful pleasure was increased.

Rose the Preceptor,...
To speak out what was in him, clear and strong.

"Plato, anticipating the Reviewers,
From his Republic banished without pity
The Poets; in this little town of yours,
You put to death, by means of a Committee,
The ballad-singers and the troubadours,
The street-musicians of the heavenly city,
The birds who make sweet music for us all
In our dark hours, as David did for Saul.
"The thrush that carols at the dawn of day
From the green steeples of the piny wood;
The oriole in the elm; the noisy jay,
Jargoning like a foreigner at his food;
The bluebird balanced on some topmost spray,
Flooding with melody the neighborhood;
Linnet and meadow-lark, and all the throng
That dwell in nests, and have the gift of song.
"You slay them all! and wherefore? for the gain
Of a scant handful more or less of wheat,
Or rye, or barley, or some other grain,
Scratched up at random by industrious feet,
Searching for worm or weevil after rain!
Or a few cherries, that are not so sweet
As are the songs these uninvited guests
Sing at their feast with comfortable breasts.
"Do you ne'er think what wondrous beings these?
Do you ne'er think who made them, and who taught
The dialect they speak, where melodies
Alone are the interpreters of thought?
Whose household words are songs in many keys,
Sweeter than instrument of man e'er caught!
Whose habitations in the tree-tops even
Are half-way houses on the road to heaven!
"Think, every morning when the sun peeps through
The dim, leaf-latticed windows of the grove,
How jubilant the happy birds renew
Their old melodious madrigals of love!
And when you think of this, remember too
'Tis always morning somewhere, and above
The awakening continents, from shore to shore,
Somewhere the birds are singing evermore.
"Think of your woods and orchards without birds!
Of empty nests that cling to boughs and beams
As in an idiot's brain remembered words
Hang empty 'mid the cobwebs of his dreams!
Will bleat of flocks or bellowing of herds
Make up for the lost music, when your teams
Drag home the stingy harvest, and no more
The feathered gleaners follow to your door?
"What! would you rather see the incessant stir
Of insects in the windrows of the hay,
And hear the locust and the grasshopper
Their melancholy hurdy-gurdies play?
Is this more pleasant to you than the whir
Of meadow-lark, and her sweet roundelay,
Or twitter of little field-fares, as you take
Your nooning in the shade of bush and brake?
"You call them thieves and pillagers; but know,
They are the winged wardens of your farms,
Who from the cornfields drive the insidious foe,
And from your harvest keep a hundred harms.
Even the blackest of them all, the crow,
Renders good service as your man-at-arms,
Crushing the beetle in his coat-of-mail,
And crying havoc on the slug and snail.
"How can I teach your children gentleness,
And mercy to the weak, and reverence
For Life, which, in its weakness or excess,
Is still a gleam of God's omnipotence,
Or Death, which, seeming darkness, is no less
The selfsame light, although averted hence,
When by your laws, your actions, and your speech,
You contradict the very things I teach?"

The birds were doomed; and, as the record shows,
A bounty offered for the heads of crows.

Devoured by worms, like Herod, was the town,
Because, like Herod, it had ruthlessly
Slaughtered the Innocents. From the trees spun down
The canker-worms upon the passers-by,
Upon each woman's bonnet, shawl, and gown,
Who shook them off with just a little cry;
They were the terror of each favorite walk,
The endless theme of all the village talk.
The farmers grew impatient, but a few
Confessed their error, and would not complain,
For after all, the best thing one can do
When it is raining, is to let it rain.
Then they repealed the law, although they knew
It would not call the dead to life again;
As school-boys, finding their mistake too late,
Draw a wet sponge across the accusing slate.
That year in Killingworth the Autumn came
Without the light of his majestic look,
The wonder of the falling tongues of flame,
The illumined pages of his Doom's-Day book.
A few lost leaves blushed crimson with their shame,
And drowned themselves despairing in the brook,
While the wild wind went moaning everywhere,
Lamenting the dead children of the air!
But the next Spring a stranger sight was seen,
A sight that never yet by bard was sung,
As great a wonder as it would have been
If some dumb animal had found a tongue!
A wagon, overarched with evergreen,
Upon whose boughs were wicker cages hung,
All full of singing birds, came down the street,
Filling the air with music wild and sweet.
From all the country round these birds were brought,
By order of the town, with anxious quest,
And, loosened from their wicker prisons, sought
In woods and fields the places they loved best,
Singing loud canticles, which many thought
Were satires to the authorities addressed,
While others, listening in green lanes, averred
Such lovely music never had been heard!

H. W. Longfellow.


"Man is unjust, but God is just; and finally justice
Triumphs; and well I remember a story, that often consoled me,
When as a captive I lay in the old French fort at Port Royal."
This was the old man's favorite tale, and he loved to repeat it
When his neighbors complained that any injustice was done them.
"Once in an ancient city, whose name I no longer remember,
Raised aloft on a column, a brazen statue of Justice
Stood in the public square, upholding the scales in his left hand,
And in its right a sword, as an emblem that justice presided
Over the laws of the land, and the hearts and homes of the people.
Even the birds had built their nests in the scales of the balance,
Having no fear of the sword that flashed in the sunshine above them.
But in course of time the laws of the land were corrupted;
Might took the place of right, and the weak were oppressed, and the mighty
Ruled with an iron rod. Then it chanced in a nobleman's palace
That a necklace of pearls was lost, and erelong a suspicion
Fell on an orphan girl who lived as maid in the household.
She, after form of trial condemned to die on the scaffold,
Patiently met her doom at the foot of the statue of Justice.
As to her Father in heaven her innocent spirit ascended,
Lo! o'er the city a tempest rose; and the bolts of the thunder
Smote the statue of bronze, and hurled in wrath from its left hand
Down on the pavement below the clattering scales of the balance,
And in the hollow thereof was found the nest of a magpie,
Into whose clay-built walls the necklace of pearls was inwoven."

H. W. Longfellow, in Evangeline.


Then from a neighboring thicket the mocking-bird, wildest of singers,
Swinging aloft on a willow spray that hung o'er the water,
Shook from his little throat such floods of delirious music,
That the whole air and the woods and the waves seemed silent to listen.
Plaintive at first were the tones and sad; then soaring to madness
Seemed they to follow or guide the revel of frenzied Bacchantes.
Single notes were then heard, in sorrowful, low lamentation;
Till, having gathered them all, he flung them abroad in derision,
As when, after a storm, a gust of wind through the tree-tops
Shakes down the rattling rain in a crystal shower on the branches.

H. W. Longfellow, in Evangeline.


To hear the lark begin his flight,
And singing startle the dull night
From his watch-tower in the skies
Till the dappled dawn doth rise;
Then to come, in spite of sorrow,
And at my window bid good-morrow
Through the sweet-briar, or the vine,
Or the twisted eglantine;
While the cock with lively din
Scatters the rear of darkness thin;
And to the stack, or the barn door,
Stoutly struts his dames before;
Oft listening how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn
From the side of some hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill.

John Milton.


I thought the sparrow's note from heaven,
Singing at dawn on the alder bough;
I brought him home, in his nest, at even,
He sings the song, but it pleases not now,
For I did not bring home the river and sky;
He sang to my ear, they sang to my eye.

R. W. Emerson.


Nor crush a worm, whose useful light
Might serve, however small,
To show a stumbling-stone by night,
And save man from a fall.



Up soared the lark into the air,
A shaft of song, a wingèd prayer,
As if a soul, released from pain,
Were flying back to heaven again.
St. Francis heard; it was to him
An emblem of the Seraphim;
The upward motion of the fire,
The light, the heat, the heart's desire.
Around Assisi's convent gate
The birds, God's poor who cannot wait,
From moor and mere and darksome wood
Came flocking for their dole of food.
"O brother birds," St. Francis said,
"Ye come to me and ask for bread,
But not with bread alone to-day
Shall ye be fed and sent away.
"Ye shall be fed, ye happy birds,
With manna of celestial words;
Not mine, though mine they seem to be,
Not mine, though they be spoken through me.
"Oh, doubly are ye bound to praise
The great Creator in your lays;
He giveth you your plumes of down,
Your crimson hoods, your cloaks of brown.
"He giveth you your wings to fly
And breathe a purer air on high,
And careth for you everywhere,
Who for yourselves so little care!"
With flutter of swift wings and songs
Together rose the feathered throngs,
And singing scattered far apart;
Deep peace was in St. Francis' heart.
He knew not if the brotherhood
His homily had understood;
He only knew that to one ear
The meaning of his words was clear.

H. W. Longfellow.


Ethereal Minstrel! Pilgrim of the sky!
Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound?
Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye
Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?
Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,
Those quivering wings composed, that music still!
To the last point of vision, and beyond,
Mount, daring warbler! that love-prompted strain,
('Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond)
Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain:
Yet might'st thou seem, proud privilege! to sing
All independent of the leafy spring.
Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
A privacy of glorious light is thine;
Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood
Of harmony, with instinct more divine;
Type of the wise who soar, but never roam;
True to the kindred points of heaven and home!



Hail to thee, blithe spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest,
Like a cloud of fire,
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
Teach us, sprite or bird,
What sweet thoughts are thine:
I have never heard
Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.
Chorus hymeneal
Or triumphal chant
Matched with thine, would be all
But an empty vaunt—
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.
What objects are the fountains
Of thy happy strain?
What fields, or waves, or mountains?
What shapes of sky or plain?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?
Better than all measures
Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures
That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!
Teach me half the gladness
That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness
From my lips would flow
The world should listen then, as I am listening now!

P. B. Shelley.


Bird of the wilderness,
Blithesome and cumberless,
Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea!
Emblem of happiness,
Blest is thy dwelling-place,—
Oh to abide in the desert with thee!
Wild is the day and loud
Far in the downy cloud,
Love gives it energy, love gave it birth.
Where, on thy dewy wing,
Where art thou journeying?
Thy lay is in heaven, thy love is on earth.
O'er fell and mountain sheen,
O'er moor and mountain green,
O'er the red streamer that heralds the day,
Over the cloudlet dim,
Over the rainbow's rim,
Musical cherub, soar, singing, away!
Then, when the gloaming comes,
Low in the heather blooms
Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be!
Emblem of happiness,
Blest is thy dwelling-place,
Oh to abide in the desert with thee!

James Hogg.

A skylark wounded on the wing
Doth make a cherub cease to sing.
He who shall hurt a little wren
Shall never be beloved by men.

W. Blake.


Lord, should we oft forget to sing
A thankful evening hymn of praise,
This duty, they to mind might bring,
Who chirp among the bushy sprays.
For in their perches they retire,
When first the twilight waxeth dim;
And every night the sweet-voiced quire
Shuts up the daylight with a hymn.
Ten thousand fold more cause have we
To close each day with praiseful voice,
To offer thankful hearts to Thee,
And in thy mercies to rejoice.

George Wither, 1628.


A cruel deed
It is, sweet bird, to cage thee up
Prisoner for life, with just a cup
And a box of seed,
And sod to move on barely one foot square,
Hung o'er dark street, midst foul and murky air.
From freedom brought,
And robbed of every chance of wing,
Thou couldst have had no heart to sing,
One would have thought.
But though thy song is sung, men little know
The yearning source from which those sweet notes flow.
Poor little bird!
As often as I think of thee,
And how thou longest to be free,
My heart is stirred,
And, were my strength but equal to my rage,
Methinks thy cager would be in his cage.
The selfish man!
To take thee from thy broader sphere,
Where thousands heard thy music clear,
On Nature's plan;
And where the listening landscape far and wide
Had joy, and thou thy liberty beside.
A singing slave
Made now; with no return but food;
No mate to love, nor little brood
To feed and save;
No cool and leafy haunts; the cruel wires
Chafe thy young life and check thy just desires.
Brave little bird!
Still striving with thy sweetest song
To melt the hearts that do thee wrong,
I give my word
To stand with those who for thy freedom fight,
Who claim for thee that freedom as thy right.

Chambers's Journal.


I have a friend across the street,
We never yet exchanged a word,
Yet dear to me his accents sweet—
I am a woman, he a bird.
And here we twain in exile dwell,
Far from our native woods and skies,
And dewy lawns with healthful smell,
Where daisies lift their laughing eyes.
Never again from moss-built nest
Shall the caged woodlark blithely soar;
Never again the heath be pressed
By foot of mine for evermore!
Yet from that feathered, quivering throat
A blessing wings across to me;
No thrall can hold that mellow note,
Or quench its flame in slavery.
When morning dawns in holy calm,
And each true heart to worship calls,
Mine is the prayer, but his the psalm,
That floats about our prison walls.
And as behind the thwarting wires
The captive creature throbs and sings,
With him my mounting soul aspires
On Music's strong and cleaving wings.
My chains fall off, the prison gates
Fly open, as with magic key;
And far from life's perplexing straits,
My spirit wanders, swift and free.
Back to the heather, breathing deep
The fragrance of the mountain breeze,
I hear the wind's melodious sweep
Through tossing boughs of ancient trees.
Beneath a porch where roses climb
I stand as I was used to stand,
Where cattle-bells with drowsy chime
Make music in the quiet land.
Fast fades the dream in distance dim,
Tears rouse me with a sudden shock;
Lo! at my door, erect and trim,
The postman gives his double knock.
And a great city's lumbering noise
Arises with confusing hum,
And whistling shrill of butchers' boys;
My day begins, my bird is dumb.

Temple Bar.


Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down:
The voice I heard this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that ofttimes hath
Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! Adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side: and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—do I wake or sleep?

J. Keats.


Color and form may be conveyed by words,
But words are weak to tell the heavenly strains
That from the throats of these celestial birds
Rang through the woods and o'er the echoing plains;
There was the meadow-lark with voice as sweet,
But robed in richer raiment than our own;
And as the moon smiled on his green retreat,
The painted nightingale sang out alone.
Words cannot echo music's wingèd note,
One voice alone exhausts their utmost power;
'Tis that strange bird, whose many-voicèd throat
Mocks all his brethren of the woodlawn bower,
To whom, indeed, the gift of tongues is given,
The musical, rich tongues that fill the grove;
Now, like the lark, dropping his notes from heaven,
Now cooing the soft notes of the dove.
Oft have I seen him, scorning all control,
Winging his arrowy flight, rapid and strong,
As if in search of his evanished soul,
Lost in the gushing ecstasy of song;
And as I wandered on and upward gazed,
Half lost in admiration, half in fear,
I left the brothers wondering and amazed,
Thinking that all the choir of heaven was near.

Denis Florence Maccarthy.


Meanwhile the tepid caves, and fens, and shores,
Their brood as numerous hatch from the egg that soon
Bursting with kindly rupture, forth disclosed
Their callow young; but feathered soon and fledge
They summed their pens; and, soaring the air sublime,
With clang despised the ground, under a cloud
In prospect: there the eagle and the stork
On cliffs and cedar-tops their eyries build;
Part loosely wing the region; part, more wise,
In common ranged in figure, wedge their way,
Intelligent of seasons, and set forth
Their aery caravan, high over seas
Flying, and over lands, with mutual wing
Easing their flight; so steers the prudent crane
Her annual voyage, borne on winds; the air
Floats as they pass, fanned with unnumbered plumes:
From branch to branch the smaller birds with song
Solaced the woods, and spread their painted wings
Till even; nor then the solemn nightingale
Ceased warbling, but all night tuned her soft lays:
Others, on silver lakes and rivers, bathed
Their downy breasts; the swan with archèd neck
Between her white wings, mantling proudly, rows
Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit
The dank, and, rising on stiff pennons, tower
The mid aerial sky: others on ground
Walked firm; the crested cock, whose clarion sounds
The silent hours; and the other, whose gay train
Adorns him, colored with the florid hue
Of rainbows and starry eyes.

Milton: Paradise Lost, book 7.


I would I were a note
From a sweet bird's throat!
I'd float on forever,
And melt away never!
I would I were a note
From a sweet bird's throat!
But I am what I am!
As content as a lamb.
No new state I'll covet;
For how long should I love it?
No, I'll be what I am,—
As content as a lamb!

Poetry for Children.


Emerald-plumèd, ruby-throated,
Flashing like a fair star
Where the humid, dew-becoated,
Sun-illumined blossoms are—
See the fleet humming-bird!
Hark to his humming, heard
Loud as the whirr of a fairy king's car!
Sightliest, sprightliest, lightest, and brightest one,
Child of the summer sun,
Shining afar!
Brave little humming-bird!
Every eye blesses thee;
Sunlight caresses thee,
Forest and field are the fairer for thee.
Blooms, at thy coming stirred,
Bend on each brittle stem,
Nod to the little gem,
Bow to the humming-bird, frolic and free.
Now around the woodbine hovering,
Now the morning-glory covering,
Now the honeysuckle sipping,
Now the sweet clematis tipping,
Now into the bluebell dipping;
Hither, thither, flashing, bright'ning,
Like a streak of emerald lightning:
Round the box, with milk-white plox;
Round the fragrant four-o'-clocks;
O'er the crimson quamoclit,
Lightly dost thou wheel and flit;
Into each tubèd throat
Dives little Ruby-throat.
Bright-glowing airy thing,
Light-going fairy thing,
Not the grand lyre-bird
Rivals thee, splendid one!—
Fairy-attended one,
Green-coated fire-bird!
Shiniest fragile one,
Tiniest agile one,
Falcon and eagle tremble before thee!
Dim is the regal peacock and lory,
And the pheasant, iridescent,
Pales before the gleam and glory
Of the jewel-change incessant,
When the sun is streaming o'er thee!
Hear thy soft humming,
Like a sylph's drumming!



A little brown mother-bird sat in her nest,
With four sleepy birdlings tucked under her breast,
And her querulous chirrup fell ceaseless and low,
While the wind rocked the lilac-tree nest to and fro.
"Lie still, little nestlings! lie still while I tell,
For a lullaby story, a thing that befell
Your plain little mother one midsummer morn,
A month ago, birdies—before you were born.
"I'd been dozing and dreaming the long summer night,
Till the dawn flushed its pink through the waning moonlight;
When—I wish you could hear it once!—faintly there fell
All around me the silvery sound of a bell.
"Then a chorus of bells! So, with just half an eye,
I peeped from the nest, and those lilies close by,
With threads of a cobweb, were swung to and fro
By three little rollicking midgets below.
"Then the air was astir as with humming-birds' wings!
And a cloud of the tiniest, daintiest things
That ever one dreamed of, came fluttering where
A cluster of trumpet-flowers swayed in the air.
"As I sat all a-tremble, my heart in my bill—
'I will stay by the nest,' thought I, 'happen what will;'
So I saw with these eyes by that trumpet-vine fair,
A whole fairy bridal train poised in the air.
"Such a bit of a bride! Such a marvel of grace!
In a shimmer of rainbows and gossamer lace;
No wonder the groom dropped his diamond-dust ring,
Which a little elf-usher just caught with his wing.
"Then into a trumpet-flower glided the train,
And I thought (for a dimness crept over my brain,
And I tucked my head under my wing), 'Deary me!
What a sight for a plain little mother like me!'"

Mary A. Lathbury.


A lazy hen, the story goes,
Loquacious, pert, and self-conceited,
Espied a bee upon a rose,
And thus the busy insect greeted:
"I've marked you well for many a day,
In garden blooms and meadow clover;
Now here, now there, in wanton play,
From morn till night an idle rover.
"While I discreetly bide at home,
A faithful wife, the best of mothers,
About the fields you idly roam,
Without the least regard for others.
"While I lay eggs and hatch them out,
You seek the flowers most sweet and fragrant;
And, sipping honey, stroll about,
At best a good for nothing vagrant."
"Nay," said the bee, "you do me wrong:
I'm useful, too,—perhaps you doubt it:
Because, though toiling all day long,
I scorn to make a fuss about it.
"Come now with me and see my hive,
And note how folks may work in quiet;
To useful arts much more alive
Than you with all your cackling riot!"

John G. Saxe.


When the willows gleam along the brooks,
And the grass grows green in sunny nooks,
In the sunshine and the rain
I hear the robin in the lane
Singing "Cheerily,
Cheer up, cheer up;
Cheerily, cheerily,
Cheer up."
But the snow is still
Along the walls and on the hill.
The days are cold, the nights forlorn,
For one is here and one is gone.
"Tut, tut. Cheerily,
Cheer up, cheer up;
Cheerily, cheerily,
Cheer up."
When spring hopes seem to wane,
I hear the joyful strain—
A song at night, a song at morn,
A lesson deep to me is borne,
Hearing, "Cheerily,
Cheer up, cheer up;
Cheerily, cheerily,
Cheer up."

Masque of Poets.


Rollicking Robin is here again.
What does he care for the April rain?
Care for it? Glad of it. Doesn't he know
That the April rain carries off the snow,
And coaxes out leaves to shadow his nest,
And washes his pretty red Easter vest,
And makes the juice of the cherry sweet,
For his hungry little robins to eat?
"Ha! ha! ha!" hear the jolly bird laugh.
"That isn't the best of the story, by half!"
Gentleman Robin, he walks up and down,
Dressed in orange-tawney and black and brown.
Though his eye is so proud and his step so firm,
He can always stoop to pick up a worm.
With a twist of his head, and a strut and a hop,
To his Robin-wife, in the peach-tree top,
Chirping her heart out, he calls: "My dear
You don't earn your living! Come here! Come here!
Ha! ha! ha! Life is lovely and sweet;
But what would it be if we'd nothing to eat?"
Robin, Sir Robin, gay, red-vested knight,
Now you have come to us, summer's in sight.
You never dream of the wonders you bring,—
Visions that follow the flash of your wing.
How all the beautiful By-and-by
Around you and after you seems to fly!
Sing on, or eat on, as pleases your mind!
Well have you earned every morsel you find.
"Aye! Ha! ha! ha!" whistles robin. "My dear,
Let us all take our own choice of good cheer!"

Lucy Larcom.


There's a call upon the housetop, an answer from the plain,
There's a warble in the sunshine, a twitter in the rain.
And through my heart, at sound of these,
There comes a nameless thrill,
As sweet as odor to the rose,
Or verdure to the hill;
And all the joyous mornings
My heart pours forth this strain:
"God bless the dear old robins
Who have come back again."
For they bring a thought of summer, of dreamy, precious days,
Of king-cups in the summer, making a golden haze;
A longing for the clover blooms,
For roses all aglow,
For fragrant blossoms where the bees
With droning murmurs go;
I dream of all the beauties
Of summer's golden reign,
And sing: "God keep the robins
Who have come back again."



"Now, robins, my darlings, I think it is best,"
Said old mother bird, "that you all quit the nest.
You've grown very plump, and the nest is so small
That really there isn't quite room for you all.
"The day is so fair and the sun is so bright,
I think I can teach you to fly before night:
And, when you have learned, you can go where you please,
As high as the gable,—yes! high as the trees.
"Come, Dickey, hop out, and stand up here by me;
The rest of you stand on the branch of the tree;
Don't be frightened, my dears; there's no danger at all,
For mother will not let her dear birdies fall.
"Now all spread your wings. Ah! but that is too high;
Just see how I do it. Now, all again try!
Ah! that is much better. Now try it once more.
Bravo! much better than ever before!
"Now flutter about, up and down, here and there:
My dears, you'll be flying before you're aware.
Now carefully drop from the tree to the ground;
There's nothing to fear, for there's grass all around.
"All starting but Robbie. 'Afraid you shall fall?'
Ah! don't be a craven, be bravest of all.
Now up and now down, now away to yon spire:
Go on: don't be frightened: fly higher and higher."

"I've waited one hour, right here on the tree:
Not one of my robins has come back to me.
How soon they forget all the trouble they bring!
Never mind: I'll fly up on the tree-top and sing."

Mrs. C. F. Berry.


Oh, where is the boy, dressed in jacket of gray,
Who climbed up a tree in the orchard to-day,
And carried my three little birdies away?
They hardly were dressed,
When he took from the nest
My three little robins, and left me bereft.
O wrens! have you seen, in your travels to-day,
A very small boy, dressed in jacket of gray,
Who carried my three little robins away?
He had light-colored hair,
And his feet were both bare.
Ah me! he was cruel and mean, I declare.
O butterfly! stop just one moment, I pray:
Have you seen a boy dressed in jacket of gray,
Who carried my three little birdies away?
He had pretty blue eyes,
And was small of his size.
Ah! he must be wicked, and not very wise.
O bees! with your bags of sweet nectarine, stay;
Have you seen a boy dressed in jacket of gray,
And carrying three little birdies away?
Did he go through the town,
Or go sneaking aroun'
Through hedges and byways, with head hanging down?
O boy with blue eyes, dressed in jacket of gray!
If you will bring back my three robins to-day,
With sweetest of music the gift I'll repay;
I'll sing all day long
My merriest song,
And I will forgive you this terrible wrong.
Bobolinks! did you see my birdies and me—
How happy we were on the old apple-tree?
Until I was robbed of my young, as you see?
Oh, how can I sing,
Unless he will bring
My three robins back, to sleep under my wing?

Mrs. C. F. Berry: Songs for Our Darlings.


The farmer looked at his cherry-tree,
With thick buds clustered on every bough.
"I wish I could cheat the robins," said he.
"If somebody only would show me how!
"I'll make a terrible scarecrow grim,
With threatening arms and with bristling head;
And up in the tree I'll fasten him,
To frighten them half to death," he said.
He fashioned a scarecrow all tattered and torn,—
Oh, 'twas a horrible thing to see!
And very early, one summer morn,
He set it up in his cherry-tree.
The blossoms were white as the light sea-foam,
The beautiful tree was a lovely sight;
But the scarecrow stood there so much at home
That the birds flew screaming away in fright.
But the robins, watching him day after day,
With heads on one side and eyes so bright,
Surveying the monster, began to say,
"Why should this fellow our prospects blight?
"He never moves round for the roughest weather,
He's a harmless, comical, tough old fellow.
Let's all go into the tree together,
For he won't budge till the fruit is mellow!"
So up they flew; and the sauciest pair
'Mid the shady branches peered and perked,
Selected a spot with the utmost care,
And all day merrily sang and worked.
And where do you think they built their nest?
In the scarecrow's pocket, if you please,
That, half-concealed on his ragged breast,
Made a charming covert of safety and ease!
By the time the cherries were ruby-red,
A thriving family hungry and brisk,
The whole long day on the ripe food fed.
'Twas so convenient! they saw no risk!
Until the children were ready to fly,
All undisturbed they lived in the tree;
For nobody thought to look at the guy
For a robin's flourishing family!

Celia Thaxter.


A little gray bird with a speckled breast,
Under my window has built his nest;
He sits on at twig and singeth clear
A song that overfloweth with cheer:
"Love! Love! Love!
Let us be happy, my love.
Sing of cheer."
Sweet and true are the notes of his song;
Sweet—and yet always full and strong,
True—and yet they are never sad,
Serene with that peace that maketh glad:
"Life! Life! Life!
Oh, what a blessing is life;
Life is glad!"
Of all the birds, I love thee best,
Dear Sparrow, singing of joy and rest;
Rest—but life and hope increase,
Joy—whose spring is deepest peace:
"Joy! Life! Love!
Oh, to love and live is joy,—
Joy and peace."

Miss Harriet E. Paine: Bird Songs of New England.


A bubble of music floats
The slope of the hillside over—
A little wandering sparrow's notes—
On the bloom of yarrow and clover.
And the smell of sweet-fern and the bayberry-leaf
On his ripple of song are stealing;
For he is a chartered thief,
The wealth of the fields revealing.
One syllable, clear and soft
As a raindrop's silvery patter,
Or a tinkling fairy-bell, heard aloft,
In the midst of the merry chatter
Of robin and linnet and wren and jay,
One syllable, oft-repeated:
He has but a word to say,
And of that he will not be cheated.
The singer I have not seen;
But the song I arise and follow
The brown hills over, the pastures green,
And into the sunlit hollow.
With the joy of a lowly heart's content
I can feel my glad eyes glisten,
Though he hides in his happy tent,
While I stand outside and listen.
This way would I also sing,
My dear little hillside neighbor!
A tender carol of peace to bring
To the sunburnt fields of labor,
Is better than making a loud ado.
Trill on, amid clover and yarrow:
There's a heart-beat echoing you,
And blessing you, blithe little sparrow!

Lucy Larcom.


Glad to see you, little bird;
'Twas your little chirp I heard:
What did you intend to say?
"Give me something this cold day?"
That I will, and plenty too;
All the crumbs I saved for you.
Don't be frightened: here's a treat.
I will wait and see you eat.
Shocking tales I hear of you;
Chirp, and tell me, are they true?
Robbing all the summer long;
Don't you think it very wrong?
Thomas says you steal his wheat;
John complains his plums you eat,
Choose the ripest for your share,
Never asking whose they are?
But I will not try to know
What you did so long ago:
There's your breakfast; eat away;
Come and see me every day.

Child's Book of Poetry.


Poor, sweet Piccola! Did you hear
What happened to Piccola, children dear?
'Tis seldom Fortune such favor grants
As fell to this little maid of France.
'Twas Christmas-time, and her parents poor
Could hardly drive the wolf from the door,
Striving with poverty's patient pain
Only to live till summer again.
No gifts for Piccola! Sad were they
When dawned the morning of Christmas Day;
Their little darling no joy might stir,
St. Nicholas nothing would bring to her!
But Piccola never doubted at all
That something beautiful must befall
Every child upon Christmas Day,
And so she slept till the dawn was gray.
And, full of faith, when at last she woke,
She stole to her shoe as the morning broke;
Such sounds of gladness tilled all the air,
'Twas plain St. Nicholas had been there!
In rushed Piccola sweet, half wild:
Never was seen such a joyful child.
"See what the good saint brought!" she cried,
And mother and father must peep inside.
Now such a story who ever heard?
There was a little shivering bird!
A sparrow, that in at the window flew,
Had crept into Piccola's tiny shoe!
"How good Piccola must have been!"
She cried as happy as any queen,
While the starving sparrow she fed and warmed,
And danced with rapture, she was so charmed.
Children, this story I tell to you,
Of Piccola sweet and her bird, is true.
In the far-off land of France, they say,
Still do they live to this very day.

Celia Thaxter.


Touch not the little sparrow who doth build
His home so near us. He doth follow us,
From spot to spot, amidst the turbulent town,
And ne'er deserts us. To all other birds
The woods suffice, the rivers, the sweet fields,
And Nature in her aspect mute and fair;
But he doth herd with men. Blithe servant! live,
Feed, and grow cheerful! on my window's ledge
I'll leave thee every morning some fit food
In payment for thy service.

Barry Cornwall.


A swallow in the spring
Came to our granary, and beneath the eaves
Essayed to make a nest, and there did bring
Wet earth and straw and leaves.
Day after day she toiled
With patient art; but, ere her work was crowned,
Some sad mishap the tiny fabric spoiled,
And dashed it to the ground.
She found the ruin wrought;
But, not cast down, forth from the place she flew,
And, with her mate, fresh earth and grasses brought,
And built her nest anew.
But scarcely had she placed
The last soft feather on its ample floor,
When wicked hands, on chance, again laid waste,
And wrought the ruin o'er.
But still her heart she kept,
And toiled again; and last night, hearing calls,
I looked,—and, lo! three little swallows slept
Within the earth-made walls.
What truth is here, O man!
Hath hope been smitten in its early dawn?
Have clouds o'ercast thy purpose, truth, or plan?
Have faith, and struggle on!

R. S. Andros.


Once the Emperor Charles of Spain,
With his swarthy, grave commanders,
I forget in what campaign,
Long besieged, in mud and rain,
Some old frontier town of Flanders.
Up and down the dreary camp,
In great boots of Spanish leather,
Striding with a measured tramp,
These Hidalgos, dull and damp,
Cursed the Frenchmen, cursed the weather.
Thus as to and fro they went,
Over upland and through hollow,
Giving their impatience vent,
Perched upon the Emperor's tent,
In her nest, they spied a swallow.
Yes, it was a swallow's nest,
Built of clay and hair of horses,
Mane, or tail, or dragoon's crest,
Found on hedge-rows east and west,
After skirmish of the forces.
Then an old Hidalgo said,
As he twirled his gray mustachio,
"Sure this swallow overhead
Thinks the Emperor's tent a shed,
And the Emperor but a Macho!"
Hearing his imperial name
Coupled with those words of malice,
Half in anger, half in shame,
Forth the great campaigner came
Slowly from his canvas palace.
"Let no hand the bird molest,"
Said he solemnly, "nor hurt her!"
Adding then, by way of jest,
"Golondrina is my guest,
'Tis the wife of some deserter!"
Swift as bowstring speed, a shaft,
Through the camp was spread the rumor,
And the soldiers, as they quaffed
Flemish beer at dinner, laughed
At the Emperor's pleasant humor.
So unharmed and unafraid
Sat the swallow still and brooded,
Till the constant cannonade
Through the walls a breach had made,
And the siege was thus concluded.
Then the army, elsewhere bent,
Struck its tents as if disbanding,
Only not the Emperor's tent,
For he ordered, ere he went,
Very curtly, "Leave it standing!"
So it stood there all alone,
Loosely flapping, torn and tattered,
Till the brood was fledged and flown,
Singing o'er those walls of stone
Which the cannon-shot had shattered.

H. W. Longfellow.


Thou too hast travelled, little fluttering thing—
Hast seen the world, and now thy weary wing
Thou too must rest.
But much, my little bird, couldst thou but tell,
I'd give to know why here thou lik'st so well
To build thy nest.
For thou hast passed fair places in thy flight;
A world lay all beneath thee where to light;
And, strange thy taste,
Of all the varied scenes that met thine eye—
Of all the spots for building 'neath the sky—
To choose this waste.
Did fortune try thee? was thy little purse
Perchance run low, and thou, afraid of worse,
Felt here secure?
Ah no! thou need'st not gold, thou happy one!
Thou know'st it not. Of all God's creatures, man
Alone is poor.
What was it, then? some mystic turn of thought,
Caught under German eaves, and hither brought,
Marring thine eye
For the world's loveliness, till thou art grown
A sober thing that dost but mope and moan,
Not knowing why?
Nay, if thy mind be sound, I need not ask,
Since here I see thee working at thy task
With wing and beak.
A well-laid scheme doth that small head contain,
At which thou work'st, brave bird, with might and main,
Nor more need'st seek.
In truth, I rather take it thou hast got
By instinct wise much sense about thy lot,
And hast small care
Whether an Eden or a desert be
Thy home, so thou remain'st alive, and free
To skim the air.
God speed thee, pretty bird; may thy small nest
With little ones all in good time be blest.
I love thee much;
For well thou managest that life of thine,
While I! oh, ask not what I do with mine!
Would I were such!

Mrs. Thomas Carlyle.


The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds.
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient, solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.



Forms of saints and kings are standing
The cathedral door above;
Yet I saw but one among them
Who hath soothed my soul with love.
In his mantle,—wound about him,
As their robes the sowers wind,—
Bore he swallows and their fledglings,
Flowers and weeds of every kind.
And so stands he calm and child-like,
High in wind and tempest wild;
Oh, were I like him exalted,
I would be like him, a child!
And my songs,—green leaves and blossoms,—
To the doors of heaven would bear,
Calling, even in storm and tempest,
Round me still these birds of air.

H. W. Longfellow.


The bird let loose in eastern skies,
When hastening fondly home,
Ne'er stoops to earth her wing, nor flies
Where idle warblers roam;
But high she shoots through air and light,
Above all low delay,
Where nothing earthly bounds her flight,
Nor shadow dims her way.
So grant me, God, from every care
And stain of passion free,
Aloft, through Virtue's purer air,
To hold my course to thee!
No sin to cloud, no lure to stay
My soul, as home she springs;—
Thy sunshine on her joyful way,
Thy freedom in her wings!

T. Moore.


There's a merry brown thrush sitting up in the tree.
"He's singing to me! He's singing to me!"
And what does he say, little girl, little boy?
"Oh, the world's running over with joy!
Don't you hear? Don't you see?
Hush! Look! In my tree
I'm as happy as happy can be!"
And the brown thrush keeps singing, "A nest do you see,
And five eggs, hid by me in the juniper-tree?
Don't meddle! don't touch! little girl, little boy,
Or the world will lose some of its joy!
Now I'm glad! now I'm free!
And always shall be,
If you never bring sorrow to me."
So the merry brown thrush sings away in the tree,
To you and to me, to you and to me;
And he sings all the day, little girl, little boy,
"Oh, the world's running over with joy!
Don't you know? don't you see?
But long it won't be,
Unless we are as good as can be?"

Lucy Larcom.


In the hot midsummer noontide,
When all other birds are sleeping,
Still one in the silent forest,
Like a sentry, watch in keeping,
Singing in the pine-tops spicy:
"I see, I see, I SEE, I SEE."
No one ever sees you, atom!
You are hidden too securely.
I have sought for hours to find you.
It is but to tease us, surely,
That you sing in pine-tops spicy:
"I see, I see, I SEE, I SEE."

Harriet E. Paine: Bird Songs of New England.


Beside the cottage in which Ellen dwelt
Stands a tall ash-tree; to whose topmost twig
A thrush resorts, and annually chants,
At morn and evening from that naked perch,
While all the undergrove is thick with leaves,
A time-beguiling ditty, for delight
Of his fond partner, silent in the nest.
"Ah why," said Ellen, sighing to herself,
"Why do not words, and kiss, and solemn pledge,
And nature that is kind in woman's breast,
And reason that in man is wise and good,
And fear of Him who is a righteous Judge,—
Why do not these prevail for human life,
To keep two hearts together, that began
Their spring-time with one love, and that have need
Of mutual pity and forgiveness, sweet
To grant, or be received; while that poor bird,—
Oh come and hear him! Thou who hast to me
Been faithless, hear him, though a lowly creature,
One of God's simple children that yet know not
The universal Parent, how he sings
As if he wished the firmament of heaven
Should listen, and give back to him the voice
Of his triumphant constancy and love;
The proclamation that he makes, how far
His darkness doth transcend our fickle light!"



"Do you not hear the Aziola cry?
Methinks she must be nigh,"
Said Mary, as we sate
In dusk, ere stars were lit or candles brought,
And I, who thought,
This Aziola was some tedious woman,
Asked, "Who is Aziola?" How elate
I felt to know that it was nothing human,
No mockery of myself to fear or hate;
And Mary saw my soul,
And laughed and said, "Disquiet yourself not,
'Tis nothing but a little downy owl."
Sad Aziola! many an eventide
Thy music I had heard
By wood and stream, meadow and mountain-side,
And fields and marshes wide,
Such as nor voice, nor lute, nor wind, nor bird,
The soul ever stirred;
Unlike and far sweeter than them all.
Sad Aziola! from that moment I
Loved thee and thy sad cry.



This guest of summer,
The temple-haunting martlet, does approve,
By his loved mansionry, that the heaven's breath
Smells wooingly here. No jutty, frieze,
Buttress, nor coigne of vantage, but this bird
Hath made his pendent bed, and procreant cradle.
Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed
The air is delicate.

Macbeth, Act 1, Sc. 6.


How would you be
If He which is the top of Judgment should
But judge you as you are? Oh, think on that,
And Mercy then will breathe within your lips
Like man new made.

Measure for Measure, Act 2, Sc. 2.


Merrily singing on briar and weed,
Near to the nest of his little dame,
Over the mountain-side or mead,
Robert of Lincoln is telling his name.
Bob-o'-link, Bob-o'-link,
Spink, spank, spink;
Snug and safe in that nest of ours,
Hidden among the summer flowers;
Chee, chee, chee.
Robert of Lincoln is gayly drest,
Wearing a bright-black wedding coat;
White are his shoulders, and white his crest,
Hear him call his merry note:
Bob-o'-link, Bob-o'-link,
Spink, spank, spink;
Look what a nice new coat is mine,
Sure there was never a bird so fine;
Chee, chee, chee.
Six white eggs on a bed of hay,
Freckled with purple, a pretty sight!
There as the mother sits all day,
Robert is singing with all his might.
Nice good wife, that never goes out,
Keeping house while I frolic about.
Summer wanes,—the children are grown;
Fun and frolic no more he knows,
Robert of Lincoln's a humdrum crone:
Off he flies, and we sing as he goes,—
"When you can pipe in that merry old strain,
Robert of Lincoln come back again."

W. C. Bryant.


My little doves have left a nest
Upon an Indian tree,
Whose leaves fantastic take their rest
Or motion from the sea;
For, ever there, the sea-winds go
With sunlit paces to and fro.
The tropic flowers looked up to it,
The tropic stars looked down,
And there my little doves did sit,
With feathers softly brown,
And glittering eyes that showed their right
To general Nature's deep delight.
My little doves were ta'en away
From that glad nest of theirs,
Across an ocean rolling gray,
And tempest clouded airs.
My little doves,—who lately knew
The sky and wave by warmth and blue!
And now, within the city prison,
In mist and dullness pent,
With sudden upward look they listen
For sounds of past content—
For lapse of water, swell of breeze,
Or nut-fruit falling from the trees.
Soft falls their chant as on the nest
Beneath the sunny zone;
For love that stirred it in their breast
Has not aweary grown,
And 'neath the city's shade can keep
The well of music clear and deep.
So teach ye me the wisest part,
My little doves! to move
Along the city-ways with heart
Assured by holy love,
And vocal with such songs as own
A fountain to the world unknown.

Mrs. Browning.


I stood in the quiet piazza,
Where come rude noises never;
But the feet of children, the wings of doves,
Are sounding on forever.
And the cooing of their soft voices,
And the touch of the rippling sea,
And the ringing clock of the armèd knight,
Came through the noon to me.
While their necks with rainbow gleaming,
'Neath the dark old arches shone,
And the campanile's shadow long,
Moved o'er the pavement stone.
And from every "coigne of vantage,"
Where lay some hidden nest,
They fluttered, peeped, and glistened forth,
Sacred, serene, at rest.
I thought of thy saint, O Venice!
Who said in his tenderness,
"I love thy birds, my Father dear,
Our lives they cheer and bless!
"For love is not for men only;
To the tiniest little things
Give room to nestle in our hearts;
Give freedom to all wings!"
And the lovely, still piazza,
Seemed with his presence blest,
And I, and the children, and the doves,
Partakers of his rest.

Laura Winthrop Johnson.


There sitteth a dove so white and fair,
All on the lily spray,
And she listeneth how, to Jesus Christ,
The little children pray.
Lightly she spreads her friendly wings,
And to heaven's gate hath sped,
And unto the Father in heaven she bears
The prayers which the children have said.
And back she comes from heaven's gate,
And brings—that dove so mild—
From the Father in heaven, who hears her speak,
A blessing for every child.
Then, children, lift up a pious prayer,
It hears whatever you say,
That heavenly dove, so white and fair,
That sits on the lily spray.

Frederika Bremer.


Whistles the quail from the covert,
Whistles with all his might,
High and shrill, day after day,
"Children, tell me, what does he say?"
Ginx—(the little one, bold and bright,
Sure that he understands aright)—
"He says, 'Bob White! Bob White!'"
Calls the quail from the cornfield,
Thick with stubble set;
Misty rain-clouds floating by
Hide the blue of the August sky.
"What does he call now, loud and plain?"
Gold Locks—"That's a sign of rain!
He calls 'More wet! more wet!'"
Pipes the quail from the fence-top,
Perched there full in sight,
Quaint and trim, with quick, bright eye,
Almost too round and plump to fly,
Whistling, calling, piping clear,
"What do I think he says? My dear,
He says 'Do right! do right!'"

Mrs. Clara Doty Bates.


The snowflakes are drifting round windows and door;
The chilly winds whistle "Remember the poor;"
Remember the birds, too, out on yonder tree;
I hear one just singing a Chick-a-dee-dee.
Throw out a few crumbs! you've enough and to spare;
They need through the winter your kindness and care;
And they will repay you with heartiest glee,
By constantly singing a Chick-a-dee-dee.
Each morning you'll see them go hopping around,
Though little they find on the cold frozen ground;
Yet never disheartened! on each bush and tree,
They merrily carol a Chick-a-dee-dee.
Oh! sweet little songster; so fearless and bold!
Your little pink feet—do they never feel cold?
Have you a warm shelter at night for your bed,
Where under your wing you can tuck your brown head?
Though cold grows the season you seem not to care,
But cheerily warble though frosty the air;
Though short are the days, and the nights are so long,
And most of your playmates are scattered and gone.
The snowflakes are drifting round window and door,
And chilly winds whistle behind and before,
Yet never discouraged, on each bush and tree,
You'll hear the sweet carol of Chick-a-dee-dee.

Mrs. C. F. Berry.


What is the happiest morning song?
The Linnet's. He warbles, blithe and free,
In the sunlit top of the old elm-tree,
Joyous and fresh, and hopeful and strong.
The trees are not high enough, little bird;
You mount and wheel, and eddy and soar,
And with every turn yet more and more
Your wonderful, ravishing music is heard.
A crimson speck in the bright blue sky,
Do you search for the secret of heaven's deep glow?
Is not heaven within, when you carol so?
Then why, dear bird, must you soar so high?
He answers nothing, but soars and sings;
He heeds no doubtful question like this.
He only bubbles over with bliss,
And sings, and mounts on winning wings.

Harriet E. Paine: Bird Songs of New England.


Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland Linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.
And hark! how blithe the Throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.
Sweet is the love which Nature brings:
Our meddling intellect
Misshapes the beauteous forms of things:
We murder to dissect.
Enough of Science and of Art:
Close up these barren leaves:
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.

W. Wordsworth.



The deep affections of the breast
That heaven to living things imparts,
Are not exclusively possessed
By human hearts.
A Parrot, from the Spanish main,
Full young and early caged came o'er,
With bright wings, to the bleak domain
Of Mulla's shore.
To spicy groves where he had won
His plumage of resplendent hue,
His native fruits, and skies, and sun,
He bade adieu.
For these he changed the smoke of turf,
A heathery land and misty sky,
And turned on rocks and raging surf
His golden eye.
But petted in our climate cold,
He lived and chattered many a day:
Until with age, from green and gold
His wings grew gray.
At last when blind, and seeming dumb,
He scolded, laughed, and spoke no more,
A Spanish stranger chanced to come
To Mulla's shore;
He hailed the bird in Spanish speech,
The bird in Spanish speech replied;
Flapped round the cage with joyous screech,
Dropt down, and died.

T. Campbell.


Behind us at our evening meal
The gray bird ate his fill,
Swung downward by a single claw,
And wiped his hookèd bill.
He shook his wings and crimson tail,
And set his head aslant,
And, in his sharp, impatient way,
Asked, "What does Charlie want?"
"Fie, silly bird!" I answered, "tuck
Your head beneath your wing,
And go to sleep;"—but o'er and o'er
He asked the selfsame thing.
Then, smiling, to myself I said:—How
like are men and birds!
We all are saying what he says,
In actions or in words.
The boy with whip and top and drum,
The girl with hoop and doll,
And men with lands and houses, ask
The question of Poor Poll.
However full, with something more
We fain the bag would cram;
We sigh above our crowded nets
For fish that never swam.
No bounty of indulgent Heaven
The vague desire can stay;
Self-love is still a Tartar mill
For grinding prayers alway.
The dear God hears and pities all;
He knoweth all our wants;
And what we blindly ask of Him
His love withholds or grants.
And so I sometimes think our prayers
Might well be merged in one;
And nest and perch and hearth and church
Repeat, "Thy will be done."

John Greenleaf Whittier.


"Why, so I will, you noisy bird,
This very day I'll advertise you,
Perhaps some busy ones may prize you.
A fine-tongued parrot as was ever heard,
I'll word it thus—set forth all charms about you,
And say no family should be without you."
Thus far a gentleman addressed a bird;
Then to his friend: "An old procrastinator,
Sir, I am: do you wonder that I hate her?
Though she but seven words can say,
Twenty and twenty times a day
She interferes with all my dreams,
My projects, plans, and airy schemes,
Mocking my foible to my sorrow:
I'll advertise this bird to-morrow."
To this the bird seven words did say:
"Why not do it, sir, to-day?"

Charles And Mary Lamb.


Little bird, with bosom red,
Welcome to my humble shed!
Courtly domes of high degree
Have no room for thee and me;
Pride and pleasure's fickle throng
Nothing mind an idle song.
Daily near my table steal,
While I pick my scanty meal:—
Doubt not, little though there be,
But I'll cast a crumb to thee;
Well rewarded, if I spy
Pleasure in thy glancing eye;
See thee, when thou'st eat thy fill,
Plume thy breast and wipe thy bill.
Come, my feathered friend, again?
Well thou know'st the broken pane:—
Ask of me thy daily store.

J. Langhorne.


Ere pales in heaven the morning star,
A bird, the loneliest of its kind,
Hears dawn's faint footfall from afar,
While all its mates are dumb and blind.
It is a wee, sad-colored thing,
As shy and secret as a maid,
That, ere in choir the robins ring,
Pipes its own name like one afraid.
It seems pain-prompted to repeat
The story of some ancient ill,
But Phoebe! Phoebe! sadly sweet,
Is all it says, and then is still.
It calls and listens: earth and sky,
Hushed by the pathos of its fate,
Listen: no whisper of reply
Comes from the doom-dissevered mate.
Phoebe! it calls and calls again,
And Ovid, could he but have heard,
Had hung a legendary pain
About the memory of the bird;
A pain articulate so long
In penance of some mouldered crime,
Whose ghost still flies the furies' thong
Down the waste solitudes of time;

Phoebe! is all it has to say
In plaintive cadence o'er and o'er,
Like children that have lost their way
And know their names, but nothing more.
Is it in type, since Nature's lyre
Vibrates to every note in man,
Of that insatiable desire
Meant to be so, since life began?
I, in strange lands at gray of dawn,
Wakeful, have heard that fruitless plaint
Through memory's chambers deep withdrawn
Renew its iterations faint.
So nigh! yet from remotest years
It seems to draw its magic, rife
With longings unappeased, and tears
Drawn from the very source of life.

James Russell Lowell: in Scribner.


Welcome, O Stork! that dost wing
Thy flight from the far-away!
Thou hast brought us the signs of Spring,
Thou hast made our sad hearts gay.
Descend, O Stork! descend
Upon our roof to rest;
In our ash-tree, O my friend,
My darling, make thy nest.
To thee, O Stork, I complain,
O Stork, to thee I impart
The thousand sorrows, the pain
And aching of my heart.
When thou away didst go,
Away from this tree of ours,
The withering winds did blow,
And dried up all the flowers.
Dark grew the brilliant sky,
Cloudy and dark and drear;
They were breaking the snow on high,
And winter was drawing near.
From Varaca's rocky wall,
From the rock of Varaca unrolled,
The snow came and covered all,
And the green meadow was cold.
O Stork, our garden with snow
Was hidden away and lost,
And the rose-trees that in it grow
Were withered by snow and frost.

H. W. Longfellow.


The tradition of the storks at Delft (Holland), is, however, still alive, and no traveller writes about the city without remembering them.

The fact occurred at the time of the great fire which ruined almost all the city. There were in Delft innumerable storks' nests. It must be understood that the stork is the favorite bird of Holland; the bird of good fortune, like the swallow; welcome to all, because it makes war upon toads and frogs; that the peasants plant poles with circular floor of wood on top to attract them to make their nests, and that in some towns they may be seen walking in the streets. At Delft they were in great numbers. When the fire broke out, which was on the 3d May, the young storks were fledged, but could not yet fly. Seeing the fire approach, the parent storks attempted to carry their young out of danger; but they were too heavy; and, after having tried all sorts of desperate efforts, the poor birds were forced to give it up.

They might have saved themselves and have abandoned the little ones to their fate, as human creatures often do under similar circumstances. But they stayed upon their nests, gathered their little ones about them, covered them with their wings, as if to retard, as long as possible, the fatal moment, and so awaited death, in that loving and noble attitude.

And who shall say if, in the horrible dismay and flight from the flames, that example of self-sacrifice, that voluntary maternal martyrdom, may not have given strength and courage to some weak soul who was about to abandon those who had need of him.

De Amicis' Holland.


See! from the brake the whirring pheasant springs
And mounts exulting on triumphant wings.
Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound,
Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground.
Ah! what avail his glossy, varying dyes,
His purple crest, and scarlet-circled eyes,
The vivid green his shining plumes unfold,
His painted wings, and breast that flames with gold!



Silent are all the sounds of day;
Nothing I hear but the chirp of crickets,
And the cry of the herons winging their way
O'er the poet's house in the Elmwood thickets.
Call to him, herons, as slowly you pass
To your roosts in the haunts of the exiled thrushes,
Sing him the song of the green morass,
And the tides that water the reeds and rushes.
Sing him the mystical song of the Hern,
And the secret that baffles our utmost seeking;
For only a sound of lament we discern,
And cannot interpret the words you are speaking.
Sing of the air, and the wild delight
Of wings that uplift and winds that uphold you,
The joy of freedom, the rapture of flight
Through the drift of the floating mists that enfold you;
Of the landscape lying so far below,
With its towns and rivers and desert places;
And the splendor of light above, and the glow
Of the limitless, blue, ethereal spaces.
Ask him if songs of the Troubadours,
Or of Minnesingers in old black-letter,
Sound in his ears more sweet than yours,
And if yours are not sweeter and wilder and better.

H. W. Longfellow.


Vogelweid the Minnesinger,
When he left this world of ours,
Laid his body in the cloister,
Under Würtzburg's minster towers.
And he gave the monks his treasures,
Gave them all with this behest:
They should feed the birds at noontide
Daily on his place of rest;
Saying, "From these wandering minstrels
I have learned the art of song;
Let me now repay the lessons
They have taught so well and long."
Thus the bard of love departed;
And, fulfilling his desire,
On his tomb the birds were feasted
By the children of the choir.
Day by day, o'er tower and turret,
In foul weather and in fair,
Day by day, in vaster numbers,
Flocked the poets of the air.
On the tree whose heavy branches
Overshadowed all the place,
On the pavement, on the tombstone,
On the poet's sculptured face,
On the crossbars of each window,
On the lintel of each door,
They renewed the War of Wartburg,
Which the bard had fought before.
There they sang their merry carols,
Sang their lauds on every side;
And the name their voices uttered
Was the name of Vogelweid.
Till at length the portly abbot
Murmured, "Why this waste of food?
Be it changed to loaves henceforward
For our fasting brotherhood."
Then in vain o'er tower and turret,
From the walls and woodland nests,
When the minster bells rang noontide,
Gathered the unwelcome guests.
Then in vain, with cries discordant,
Clamorous round the Gothic spire,
Screamed the feathered Minnesingers
For the children of the choir.
Time has long effaced the inscriptions
On the cloister's funeral stones,
And tradition only tells us
Where repose the poet's bones.
But around the vast cathedral,
By sweet echoes multiplied,
Still the birds repeat the legend,
And the name of Vogelweid.

H. W. Longfellow.


On the cross the dying Saviour
Heavenward lifts his eyelids calm,
Feels, but scarcely feels, a trembling
In his pierced and bleeding palm.
And by all the world forsaken,
Sees he how with zealous care
At the ruthless nail of iron
A little bird is striving there.
Stained with blood, and never tiring,
With its beak it does not cease,
From the cross 'twould free the Saviour,
Its Creator's son release.
And the Saviour speaks in mildness:
"Blest be thou of all the good!
Bear, as token of this moment,
Marks of blood and holy rood!"
And that bird is called the cross-bill;
Covered all with blood so clear,
In the groves of pine it singeth
Songs, like legends, strange to hear.

H. W. Longfellow.


Among the orchards and the groves,
While summer days are fair and long,
You brighten every tree and bush,
You fill the air with loving song.



And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays:
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, groping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
The flush of life may well be seen
Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The cowslip startles in meadows green,
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
And there's never a leaf nor a blade too mean
To be some happy creature's palace:
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
And lets his illumined being o'errun
With the deluge of summer it receives;
His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,—
In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?

James Russell Lowell.


Then some one came who said, "My Prince had shot
A swan, which fell among the roses here,
He bids me pray you send it. Will you send?"
"Nay," quoth Siddârtha, "if the bird were dead
To send it to the slayer might be well,
But the swan lives; my cousin hath but killed
The god-like speed which throbbed in this white wing."
And Devadatta answered, "The wild thing,
Living or dead, is his who fetched it down;
'Twas no man's in the clouds, but fall'n 'tis mine,
Give me my prize, fair Cousin." Then our Lord
Laid the swan's neck beside his own smooth cheek
And gravely spake, "Say no! the bird is mine,
The first of myriad things which shall be mine
By right of mercy and love's lordliness.
For now I know, by what within me stirs,
That I shall teach compassion unto men
And be a speechless world's interpreter,
Abating this accursèd flood of woe,
Not man's alone; but, if the Prince disputes,
Let him submit this matter to the wise
And we will wait their word." So was it done;
In full divan the business had debate,
And many thought this thing and many that,
Till there arose an unknown priest who said,
"If life be aught, the savior of a life
Owns more the living thing than he can own
Who sought to slay—the slayer spoils and wastes,
The cherisher sustains, give him the bird:"
Which judgment all found just.

Light of Asia.


A thousand miles from land are we,
Tossing about on the roaring sea—
From billow to bounding billow cast,
Like fleecy snow on the stormy blast.
The sails are scattered abroad like weeds;
The strong masts shake like quivering reeds;
The mighty cables and iron chains;
The hull, which all earthly strength disdains,—
They strain and they crack; and hearts like stone
Their natural, hard, proud strength disown.
Up and down!—up and down!
From the base of the wave to the billow's crown,
And amid the flashing and feathery foam,
The stormy petrel finds a home.
A home, if such a place may be
For her who lives on the wide, wide sea,
On the craggy ice, in the frozen air,
And only seeketh her rocky lair
To warm her young, and to teach them to spring
At once o'er the waves on their stormy wing!
O'er the deep!—o'er the deep!
Where the whale, and the shark, and the sword-fish sleep—
Outflying the blast and the driving rain,
The petrel telleth her tale—in vain;
For the mariner curseth the warning bird
Which bringeth him news of the storm unheard!
Ah! thus does the prophet of good or ill
Meet hate from the creatures he serveth still;
Yet he ne'er falters—so, petrel, spring
Once more o'er the waves on thy stormy wing!

Barry Cornwall.


Hail, beauteous stranger of the grove!
Thou messenger of Spring!
Now heaven repairs thy rural seat,
And woods thy welcome sing.
What time the pea puts on the bloom,
Thou fliest thy vocal vale,
An annual guest in other lands
Another Spring to hail.
Delightful visitant! with thee
I hail the time of flowers,
And hear the sound of music sweet
From birds among the bowers.
Sweet bird! thy bower is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear;
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,
No Winter in thy year!
Oh, could I fly, I'd fly with thee!
We'd make, with joyful wing,
Our annual visit o'er the globe,
Attendants on the Spring.

John Logan.


The beautiful day is breaking,
The first faint line of light
Parts the shadows of the night,
And a thousand birds are waking.
I hear the Hairbird's slender trill,—
So fine and perfect it doth fill
The whole sweet silence with its thrill.
A rosy flush creeps up the sky,
The birds begin their symphony.
I hear the clear, triumphant voice
Of the Robin, bidding the world rejoice.
The Vireos catch the theme of the song,
And the Baltimore Oriole bears it along,
While from Sparrow, and Thrush, and Wood Pewee,
And, deep in the pine-trees, the Chickadee,
There's an undercurrent of harmony.
The Linnet sings like a magic flute,
The Lark and Bluebird touch the lute,
The Starling pipes to the shining morn
With the vibrant note of the joyous horn,
The splendid Jay
Is the trumpeter gay,
The Kingfisher, sounding his rattle,—he
May the player on the cymbals be,
The Cock, saluting the sun's first ray,
Is the bugler sounding a reveille.
"Caw! Caw!" cries the crow, and his grating tone
Completes the chord like a deep trombone.
But, above them all, the Robin sings;
His song is the very soul of day,
And all black shadows troop away
While, pure and fresh, his music rings:
"Light is here!
Never fear!
Day is near!
My dear!"

Miss Harriet E. Paine.


Gliding at sunset in my boat,
I hear the Veery's bubbling note;
And a Robin, flying late,
Sounds the home-call to his mate.
Then the sun sinks low
In the western glow,
And the birds go to rest. But hush!
Far off sings the sweet Wood-Thrush.
He sings—and waits—and sings again,
The liquid notes of that holy strain.
He ceases, and all the world is still:
And then the moon climbs over the hill,
And I hear the cry of the Whip-poor-will.
Tranquil, I lay me down to sleep,
While the summer stars a vigil keep;
And I hear from the Sparrow a gentle trill,
Which means,
"Good Night; Peace and Good Will."

Miss Harriet E. Paine.


A little brown bird sat on a stone;
The sun shone thereon, but he was alone.
"O pretty bird, do you not weary
Of this gay summer so long and dreary?"
The little bird opened his black bright eyes,
And looked at me with great surprise;
Then his joyous song broke forth, to say,
"Weary of what? I can sing all day."

Posies for Children.


Wouldst thou the life of souls discern,
Not human wisdom nor divine
Helps thee by aught beside to learn,
Love is life's only sign.



From his home in an Eastern bungalow,
In sight of the everlasting snow
Of the grand Himalayas, row on row,
Thus wrote my friend:—
"I had travelled far
From the Afghan towers of Candahar,
Through the sand-white plains of Sinde-Sagar;
"And once, when the daily march was o'er,
As tired I sat in my tented door,
Hope failed me, as never it failed before.
"In swarming city, at wayside fane,
By the Indus' bank, on the scorching plain,
I had taught,—and my teaching all seemed vain.
"No glimmer of light (I sighed) appears;
The Moslem's Fate and the Buddhist's fears
Have gloomed their worship this thousand years.
"'For Christ and his truth I stand alone
In the midst of millions: a sand-grain blown
Against your temple of ancient stone
"'As soon may level it!'" Faith forsook
My soul, as I turned on the pile to look;
Then, rising, my saddened way I took
To its lofty roof, for the cooler air:
I gazed, and marvelled;—how crumbled were
The walls I had deemed so firm and fair!
For, wedged in a rift of the massive stone,
Most plainly rent by its roots alone,
A beautiful peepul-tree had grown:
Whose gradual stress would still expand
The crevice, and topple upon the sand
The temple, while o'er its wreck should stand
The tree in its living verdure!—Who
Could compass the thought?—The bird that flew
Hitherward, dropping a seed that grew,
Did more to shiver this ancient wall
Than earthquake,—war,—simoon,—or all
The centuries, in their lapse and fall!
Then I knelt by the riven granite there,
And my soul shook off its weight of care,
As my voice rose clear on the tropic air:—
"The living seeds I have dropped remain
In the cleft: Lord, quicken with dew and rain,
Then temple and mosque shall be rent in twain!"

Margaret J. Preston.


See, Christ makes the birds our masters and teachers! so that a feeble sparrow, to our great and perpetual shame, stands in the gospel as a doctor and preacher to the wisest of men.

Martin Luther.


Listen! What a sudden rustle
Fills the air!
All the birds are in a bustle
Such a ceaseless croon and twitter
Such a flash of wings that glitter
Wide outspread!
Far away I hear a drumming,—
Tap, tap, tap!
Can the woodpecker be coming
After sap?
Butterflies are hovering over
(Swarms on swarms)
Yonder meadow-patch of clover,
Like snow-storms.
Through the vibrant air a-tingle
Throbs and o'er me sails a single
Lissom swayings make the willows
One bright sheen,
Which the breeze puffs out in billows
Foamy green.
From the marshy brook that's smoking
In the fog
I can catch the crool and croaking
Of a frog.
Dogwood stars the slopes are studding,
And I see
Blooms upon the purple-budding
Aspen tassels thick are dropping
All about,
And the alder-leaves are cropping
Broader out;
Mouse-ear tufts the hawthorn sprinkle,
Edged with rose;
The park bed of periwinkle
Fresher grows.
Up and down are midges dancing
On the grass:
How their gauzy wings are glancing
As they pass!
What does all this haste and hurry
Mean, I pray—
All this out-door flush and flurry
Seen to-day?
This presaging stir and humming,
Thrill and call?
Mean? It means that spring is coming;
That is all!

Margaret J. Preston.


Sing away, ay, sing away,
Merry little bird,
Always gayest of the gay,
Though a woodland roundelay
You ne'er sung nor heard;
Though your life from youth to age
Passes in a narrow cage.
Near the window wild birds fly,
Trees are waving round;
Fair things everywhere you spy
Through the glass pane's mystery,
Your small life's small bound:
Nothing hinders your desire
But a little gilded wire.
Like a human soul you seem
Shut in golden bars:
Placed amid earth's sunshine stream,
Singing to the morning beam,
Dreaming 'neath the stars;
Seeing all life's pleasures clear,—
But they never can come near.
Never! Sing, bird-poet mine,
As most poets do;—
Guessing by an instinct fine
At some happiness divine
Which they never knew.
Lonely in a prison bright
Hymning for the world's delight.
Yet, my birdie, you're content
In your tiny cage:
Not a carol thence is sent
But for happiness is meant—
Wisdom pure as sage:
Teaching the pure poet's part
Is to sing with merry heart.
So lie down, thou peevish pen;
Eyes, shake off all tears;
And, my wee bird, sing again:
I'll translate your song to men
In these future years.
"Howsoe'er thy lot's assigned,
Meet it with a cheerful mind."

Mrs. Dinah Maria (Mulock) Craik.


Te-whit! te-whit! te-whee!
Will you listen to me?
Who stole four eggs I laid,
And the nice nest I made?
Not I, said the cow, moo-oo!
Such a thing I'd never do.
I gave for you a wisp of hay,
And did not take your nest away.
Not I, said the cow, moo-oo!
Such a thing I'd never do.
Not I, said the dog, bow-wow!
I wouldn't be so mean as that, now,
I gave hairs the nest to make,
But the nest I did not take.
Not I, said the dog, bow-wow!
I wouldn't be so mean as that, now.
Not I, said the sheep, Oh no!
I wouldn't treat a poor bird so!
I gave the wool the nest to line,
But the nest was none of mine.
Baa! baa! said the sheep; Oh no,
I wouldn't treat a poor bird so.
I would not rob a bird,
Said little Mary Green;
I think I never heard
Of any thing so mean.
'Tis very cruel, too,
Said little Alice Neal;
I wonder if she knew
How sad the bird would feel?
A little boy hung down his head,
And went and hid behind the bed,
For he stole that pretty nest
From poor little yellow-breast;
And he felt so full of shame
He didn't like to tell his name.

Hymns for Mother and Children.


"Oh, what is the matter with Robin,
That makes her cry round here all day?
I think she must be in great trouble,"
Said Swallow to little Blue Jay.
"I know why the Robin is crying,"
Said Wren, with a sob in her breast;
"A naughty bold robber has stolen
Three little blue eggs from her nest.
"He carried them home in his pocket;
I saw him, from up in this tree:
Ah me! how my little heart fluttered
For fear he would come and rob me!"
"Oh! what little boy was so wicked?"
Said Swallow, beginning to cry;
"I wouldn't be guilty of robbing
A dear little bird's-nest—not I."
"Nor I!" said the birds in a chorus:
"A cruel and mischievous boy!
I pity his father and mother;
He surely can't give them much joy.
"I guess he forgot what a pleasure
The dear little robins all bring,
In early spring-time and in summer,
By the beautiful songs that they sing.
"I guess he forgot that the rule is,
To do as you'd be always done by;
I guess he forgot that from heaven
There looks down an All-seeing Eye."

Mrs. C. F. Berry.


When they chatter together,—the robins and sparrows,
Bluebirds and bobolinks,—all the day long;
What do they talk of? The sky and the sunshine,
The state of the weather, the last pretty song;
Of love and of friendship, and all the sweet trifles
That go to make bird-life so careless and free;
The number of grubs in the apple-tree yonder,
The promise of fruit in the big cherry-tree;
Of matches in prospect;—how Robin and Jenny
Are planning together to build them a nest;
How Bobolink left Mrs. Bobolink moping
At home, and went off on a lark with the rest.
Such mild little slanders! such innocent gossip!
Such gay little coquetries, pretty and bright!
Such happy love makings! such talks in the orchard!
Such chatterings at daybreak! such whisperings at night!
O birds in the tree-tops! O robins and sparrows!
O bluebirds and bobolinks! what would be May
Without your glad presence,—the songs that you sing us,
And all the sweet nothings we fancy you say?

Caroline A. Mason.

Sweet Mercy is Nobility's true badge.

Titus Andronicus, Act 1, Sc. 2.


I took the wren's nest:
Heaven forgive me!
Its merry architects so small
Had scarcely finished their wee hall
That, empty still, and neat and fair,
Hung idly in the summer air.
The mossy walls, the dainty door,
Where Love should enter and explore,
And Love sit carolling outside,
And Love within chirp multiplied;—
I took the wren's nest;
Heaven forgive me!
How many hours of happy pains
Through early frosts and April rains,
How many songs at eve and morn
O'er springing grass and greening corn,
What labors hard through sun and shade
Before the pretty house was made!
One little minute, only one,
And she'll fly back, and find it—gone!
I took the wren's nest:
Bird, forgive me!
Thou and thy mate, sans let, sans fear,
Ye have before you all the year,
And every wood holds nooks for you,
In which to sing and build and woo;
One piteous cry of birdish pain—
And ye'll begin your life again,
Forgetting quite the lost, lost home
In many a busy home to come.
But I? your wee house keep I must,
Until it crumble into dust.
I took the wren's nest:
God forgive me!

Dinah Maria (Mulock) Craik.


Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?
Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?
Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!
And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird's grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear—
And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity in their breast,
And not sit in the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant's tear?
And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
Oh no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

William Blake.


My banks they are furnished with bees,
Whose murmur invites one to sleep;
My grottoes are shaded with trees,
And my hills are white over with sheep.
I seldom have met with a loss,
Such health do my fountains bestow;
My fountains all bordered with moss,
Where the harebells and violets blow.
Not a pine in the grove is there seen,
But with tendrils of woodbine is bound:
Not a beech's more beautiful green,
But a sweet-brier entwines it around.
Not my fields in the prime of the year,
More charms than my cattle unfold;
Not a brook that is limpid and clear,
But it glitters with fishes of gold.
I found out a gift for my fair,
I have found where the wood-pigeons breed;
But let me such plunder forbear,
She will say 'twas a barbarous deed;
For he ne'er could be true, she averred,
Who would rob a poor bird of its young;
And I loved her the more when I heard
Such tenderness fall from her tongue.

Shenstone (d. 1673).


Come with me, if but in fancy,
To the wood, the green soft shade:
'Tis a haven, pure and lovely,
For the good of mankind made.
Listen! you can hear the cooing,
Soft and soothing, gentle sounds,
Of the pigeons, as they nestle
In the branches all around.
In the city and the open,
Man has built or tilled the land;
But the home of the wood pigeon
Bears the touch of God's own hand.



"What is that great bird, sister, tell me,
Perched high on the top of the crag?"
"'Tis the cormorant, dear little brother;
The fishermen call it the shag."
"But what does it there, sister, tell me,
Sitting lonely against the black sky?"
"It has settled to rest, little brother;
It hears the wild gale wailing high."
"But I am afraid of it, sister,
For over the sea and the land
It gazes, so black and so silent!"
"Little brother, hold fast to my hand."
"Oh, what was that, sister? The thunder?
Did the shag bring the storm and the cloud,
The wind and the rain and the lightning?"
"Little brother, the thunder roars loud.
"Run fast, for the rain sweeps the ocean;
Look! over the lighthouse it streams;
And the lightning leaps red, and above us
The gulls fill the air with their screams."
O'er the beach, o'er the rocks, running swiftly,.
The little white cottage they gain;
And safely they watch from the window
The dance and the rush of the rain.
But the shag kept his place on the headland,
And, when the brief storm had gone by,
He shook his loose plumes, and they saw him
Rise splendid and strong in the sky.
Clinging fast to the gown of his sister,
The little boy laughed as he flew:
"He is gone with the wind and lightning!
And—I am not frightened,—are you?"

Celia Thaxter.


My bird has flown away,
Far out of sight has flown, I know not where.
Look in your lawn, I pray,
Ye maidens kind and fair,
And see if my beloved bird be there.
His eyes are full of light;
The eagle of the rock has such an eye;
And plumes, exceeding bright,
Round his smooth temples lie,
And sweet his voice and tender as a sigh.
Look where the grass is gay
With summer blossoms, haply there he cowers;
And search, from spray to spray,
The leafy laurel bowers,
For well he loves the laurels and the flowers.
Find him, but do not dwell,
With eyes too fond, on the fair form you see,
Nor love his song too well;
Send him, at once, to me,
Or leave him to the air and liberty.
For only from my hand
He takes the seed into his golden beak,
And all unwiped shall stand
The tears that wet my cheek,
Till I have found the wanderer I seek.
My sight is darkened o'er,
Whene'er I miss his eyes, which are my day,
And when I hear no more
The music of his lay,
My heart in utter sadness faints away.

From the Spanish of Carolina Coronado De Perry.

Translated by W. C. Bryant.


The birds must know. Who wisely sings
Will sing as they;
The common air has generous wings,
Songs make their way.
No messenger to run before,
Devising plan;
No mention of the place or hour
To any man;
No waiting till some sound betrays
A listening ear;
No different voice, no new delays,
If steps draw near.
"What bird is that? Its song is good."
And eager eyes
Go peering through the dusky wood,
In glad surprise.
Then late at night, when by his fire
The traveller sits,
Watching the flame grow brighter, higher,
The sweet song flits
By snatches through his weary brain
To help him rest;
When next he goes that road again
An empty nest
On leafless bough will make him sigh,
"Ah me! last spring
Just here I heard, in passing by,
That rare bird sing!"
But while he sighs, remembering
How sweet the song,
The little bird on tireless wing,
Is borne along
In other air; and other men
With weary feet,
On other roads, the simple strain
Are finding sweet.
The birds must know. Who wisely sings
Will sing as they;
The common air has generous wings,
Songs make their way.

H. H.


Dost thou the monarch eagle seek?
Thou'lt find him in the tempest's maw,
Where thunders with tornadoes speak,
And forests fly as though of straw;
Or on some lightning-splintered peak,
Sceptred with desolation's law,
The shrubless mountain in his beak,
The barren desert in his claw.

Alger's Oriental Poetry.


In darkened air, alone with pain,
I lay. Like links of heavy chain
The minutes sounded, measuring day,
And slipping lifelessly away.
Sudden across my silent room
A shadow darker than its gloom
Swept swift; a shadow slim and small,
Which poised and darted on the wall,
And vanished quickly as it came.
A shadow, yet it lit like flame;
A shadow, yet I heard it sing,
And heard the rustle of its wing,
Till every pulse with joy was stirred;
It was the shadow of a bird!
Only the shadow! Yet it made
Full summer everywhere it strayed;
And every bird I ever knew
Back and forth in the summer flew,
And breezes wafted over me
The scent of every flower and tree;
Till I forgot the pain and gloom
And silence of my darkened room.
Now, in the glorious open air
I watch the birds fly here and there;
And wonder, as each swift wing cleaves
The sky, if some poor soul that grieves
In lonely, darkened, silent walls,
Will catch the shadow as it falls!

H. H.


"The rivers rush into the sea,
By castle and town they go;
The winds behind them merrily
Their noisy trumpets blow.
"The clouds are passing far and high,
We little birds in them play;
And everything, that can sing and fly,
Goes with us, and far away.
"I greet thee, bonny boat! Whither or whence,
With thy fluttering golden band?"
"I greet thee, little bird! To the wide sea,
I haste from the narrow land.
"Full and swollen is every sail;
I see no longer a hill,
I have trusted all to the sounding gale,
And it will not let me stand still.
"And wilt thou, little bird, go with us?
Thou mayest stand on the mainmast tall,
For full to sinking is my house
With merry companions all."
"I need not and seek not company,
Bonny boat, I can sing all alone;
For the mainmast tall too heavy am I,
Bonny boat, I have wings of my own.
"High over the sails, high over the mast,
Who shall gainsay these joys?
When thy merry companions are still, at last,
Thou shalt hear the sound of my voice.
"Who neither may rest, nor listen may,
God bless them every one!
I dart away, in the bright blue day,
And the golden fields of the sun.
"Thus do I sing my weary song,
Wherever the four winds blow;
And this same song, my whole life long,
Neither Poet nor Printer may know."

H. W. Longfellow.


Afloating, afloating
Across the sleeping sea,
All night I heard a singing bird
Upon the topmast tree.
"Oh, came you from the isles of Greece,
Or from the banks of Seine?
Or off some tree in forests free
That fringe the western main?"
"I came not off the old world,
Nor yet from off the new;
But I am one of the birds of God
Which sing the whole night through."
"Oh, sing and wake the dawning!
Oh, whistle for the wind!
The night is long, the current strong,
My boat it lags behind."
"The current sweeps the old world,
The current sweeps the new;
The wind will blow, the dawn will glow,
Ere thou hast sailed them through."

C. Kingsley.



"The domestic dog," says Cuvier, "is the most complete, the most singular, and the most useful conquest that man has gained in the animal world. The whole species has become our property; each individual belongs entirely to his master, acquires his disposition, knows and defends his property, and remains attached to him until death; and all this, not through constraint or necessity, but purely by the influences of gratitude and real attachment. The swiftness, the strength, the sharp scent of the dog, have rendered him a powerful ally to man against the lower tribes; and were, perhaps, necessary for the establishment of the dominion of mankind over the whole animal creation. The dog is the only animal which has followed man over the whole earth."


In the Mahabhàrata, one of the two great Hindoo poems, and of unknown antiquity, there is a recognition of the obligation of man to a dependent creature not surpassed in pathos in all literature.

We copy only such portions of the legend as bear upon this point.

The hero, Yudhistthira, leaves his home to go to Mount Meru, among the Himalayas, to find Indra's heaven and the rest he so much desired; and with him,

"The five brothers set forth, and Draupadi, and the seventh was a dog that followed them."

On the way the Princess Draupadi perished, and, after her, one brother after another, until all had died, and the hero reached his journey's end accompanied only by his dog.

Lo! suddenly, with a sound which rang through heaven and earth,
Indra came riding on his chariot, and he cried to the king, "Ascend!"
Then, indeed, did the lord of justice look back to his fallen brothers,
And thus unto Indra he spoke, with a sorrowful heart:
"Let my brothers, who yonder lie fallen, go with me;
Not even unto thy heaven would I enter, if they were not there.
And yon fair-faced daughter of a king, Draupadi the all-deserving,
Let her too enter with us! O Indra, approve my prayer!"
In heaven thou shalt find thy brothers,—they are already there before thee;
There are they all, with Draupadi; weep not, then, O son of Bharata!
Thither have they entered, prince, having thrown away their mortal weeds;
But thou alone shalt enter still wearing thy body of flesh.
O Indra, and what of this dog? It hath faithfully followed me through;
Let it go with me into heaven, for my soul is full of compassion.
Immortality and fellowship with me, and the height of joy and felicity,
All these hast thou reached to-day; leave, then, the dog behind thee.
The good may oft act an evil part, but never a part like this;
Away, then, with that felicity whose price is to abandon the faithful!
My heaven hath no place for dogs; they steal away our offerings on earth:
Leave, then, thy dog behind thee, nor think in thy heart that it is cruel.
To abandon the faithful and devoted is an endless crime, like the murder of a Brahmin;
Never, therefore, come weal or woe, will I abandon yon faithful dog.
Yon poor creature, in fear and distress, hath trusted in my power to save it:
Not, therefore, for e'en life itself will I break my plighted word.
If a dog but beholds a sacrifice, men esteem it unholy and void;
Forsake, then, the dog, O hero, and heaven is thine own as a reward.
Already thou hast borne to forsake thy fondly loved brothers, and Draupadi;
Why, then, forsakest thou not the dog? Wherefore now fails thy heart?
Mortals, when they are dead, are dead to love or hate,—so runs the world's belief;
I could not bring them back to life, but while they lived I never left them.
To oppress the suppliant, to kill a wife, to rob a Brahmin, and to betray one's friend,
These are the four great crimes; and to forsake a dependent I count equal to them.

Alger's Oriental Poetry.


This story, from the Odyssey, is also of an unknown antiquity. Ulysses, after many years of absence, returns to his home to find himself unrecognized by his family. With Eumæus Ulysses walked about the familiar grounds:

Thus near the gates conferring as they drew,
Argus, the dog, his ancient master knew;
He, not unconscious of the voice and tread,
Lifts to the sound his ear, and rears his head;
Bred by Ulysses, nourished at his board,
But, ah! not fated long to please his lord!
To him, his swiftness and his strength were vain;
The voice of glory called him o'er the main.
Till then, in every sylvan chase renowned,
With Argus, Argus, rung the woods around:
With him the youth pursued the goat or fawn,
Or traced the mazy leveret o'er the lawn;
Now left to man's ingratitude he lay,
Unhoused, neglected in the public way.
He knew his lord: he knew, and strove to meet;
In vain he strove to crawl, and kiss his feet;
Yet (all he could) his tail, his ears, his eyes.
Salute his master, and confess his joys.
Soft pity touched the mighty master's soul;
Adown his cheek a tear unhidden stole,
Stole unperceived: he turned his head and dried
The drop humane: then thus impassioned cried:
"What noble beast in this abandoned state
Lies here all helpless at Ulysses' gate?
His bulk and beauty speak no vulgar praise:
If, as he seems, he was in better days,
Some care his age deserves; or was he prized
For worthless beauty? therefore now despised:
Such dogs and men there are, mere things of state,
And always cherished by their friends the great."
Not Argus so (Eumæus thus rejoined),
But served a master of a nobler kind,
Who never, never, shall behold him more!
Long, long since perished on a distant shore!
Oh, had you seen him, vigorous, bold, and young,
Swift as a stag, and as a lion strong:
Him no fell savage on the plain withstood,
None 'scaped him bosomed in the gloomy wood;
His eye how piercing, and his scent how true,
To wind the vapor in the tainted dew!
Such, when Ulysses left his natal coast:
Now years unnerve him, and his lord is lost.

Odyssey, Pope's translation.


Yes, Tom's the best fellow that ever you knew.
Just listen to this:—
When the old mill took fire, and the flooring fell through,
And I with it, helpless there, full in my view
What do you think my eyes saw through the fire
That crept along, crept along, nigher and nigher,
But Robin, my baby-boy, laughing to see
The shining? He must have come there after me,
Toddled alone from the cottage without
Any one's missing him. Then, what a shout—
Oh! how I shouted, "For Heaven's sake, men,
Save little Robin!" Again and again
They tried, but the fire held them back like a wall.
I could hear them go at it, and at it, and call,
"Never mind, baby, sit still like a man!
We're coming to get you as fast as we can."
They could not see him, but I could. He sat
Still on a beam, his little straw hat
Carefully placed by his side; and his eyes
Stared at the flame with a baby's surprise,
Calm and unconscious, as nearer it crept.
The roar of the fire up above must have kept
The sound of his mother's voice shrieking his name
From reaching the child. But I heard it. It came
Again and again. O God, what a cry!
The axes went faster; I saw the sparks fly
Where the men worked like tigers, nor minded the heat
That scorched them,—when, suddenly, there at their feet,
The great beams leaned in—they saw him—then, crash,
Down came the wall! The men made a dash,—
Jumped to get out of the way,—and I thought,
"All's up with poor little Robin!" and brought
Slowly the arm that was least hurt to hide
The sight of the child there,—when swift, at my side,
Some one rushed by, and went right through the flame,
Straight as a dart—caught the child—and then came
Back with him, choking and crying, but—saved!
Saved safe and sound!
Oh, how the men raved,
Shouted, and cried, and hurrahed! Then they all
Rushed at the work again, lest the back wall
Where I was lying, away from the fire,
Should fall in and bury me.
Oh! you'd admire
To see Robin now: he's as bright as a dime,
Deep in some mischief, too, most of the time.
Tom, it was, saved him. Now, isn't it true
Tom's the best fellow that ever you knew?
There's Robin now! See, he's strong as a log!
And there comes Tom, too—
Yes, Tom was our dog.

Constance Fenimore Woolson.


On the night of the 11th and 12th of September, 1572, a chosen band of six hundred Spaniards made an attack within the lines of the Dutch army. The sentinels were cut down, the whole army surprised and for a moment powerless. The Prince of Orange and his guards were in profound sleep; "but a small spaniel dog," says Mr. Motley, "who always passed the night upon his bed, was a most faithful sentinel. The creature sprang forward, barking furiously at the sound of hostile footsteps, and scratching his master's face with his paws. There was but just time for the Prince to mount a horse which was ready saddled, and to effect his escape through the darkness, before his enemies sprang into the tent. His servants were cut down, his master of the horse and two of his secretaries, who gained their saddles a moment later, all lost their lives, and but for the little dog's watchfulness, William of Orange, upon whose shoulders the whole weight of his country's fortune depended, would have been led within a week to an ignominious death. To his death, the Prince ever afterwards kept a spaniel of the same race in his bed-chamber."

Motley's Rise of the Dutch Republic.

The mausoleum of William the Silent is at Delft. It is a sort of small temple in black and white marble, loaded with ornaments and sustained by columns between which are four statues representing Liberty, Providence, Justice, and Religion. Upon the sarcophagus lies the figure of the Prince in white marble, and at his feet the effigy of the little dog that saved his life at the siege of Malines.

De Amicis' Holland.


Come, Herod, my hound, from the stranger's floor!
Old friend—we must wander the world once more!
For no one now liveth to welcome us back;
So, come!—let us speed on our fated track.
What matter the region,—what matter the weather,
So you and I travel, till death, together?
And in death?—why, e'en there I may still be found
By the side of my beautiful black bloodhound.
We've traversed the desert, we've traversed the sea,
And we've trod on the heights where the eagles be;
Seen Tartar, and Arab, and swart Hindoo;
(How thou pull'dst down the deer in those skies of blue;)
No joy did divide us; no peril could part
The man from his friend of the noble heart;
Aye, his friend; for where, where shall there ever be found
A friend like his resolute, fond bloodhound?
What, Herod, old hound! dost remember the day
When I fronted the wolves like a stag at bay?
When downward they galloped to where we stood,
Whilst I staggered with fear in the dark pine wood?
Dost remember their howlings? their horrible speed?
God, God! how I prayed for a friend in need!
And—he came! Ah, 'twas then, my dear Herod, I found
That the best of all friends was my bold bloodhound.
Men tell us, dear friend, that the noble hound
Must forever be lost in the worthless ground:
Yet "Courage," "Fidelity," "Love" (they say),
Bear Man, as on wings, to his skies away.
Well, Herod—go tell them whatever may be,
I'll hope I may ever be found by thee.
If in sleep,—in sleep; if with skies around,
Mayst thou follow e'en thither, my dear bloodhound!

Barry Cornwall.


This fine poem was suggested by the affection of a dog, which kept watch over the dead body of its master until found by friends three months afterwards. The young man had lost his way on Helvellyn. Time, 1805.

I climbed the dark brow of the mighty Helvellyn,
Lakes and mountains beneath me gleamed misty and wide;
All was still, save by fits, when the eagle was yelling,
And starting around me the echoes replied.
On the right, Striden-edge round the Red-tarn was bending,
And Catchedicam its left verge was defending,
One huge nameless rock in the front was ascending,
When I marked the sad spot where the wanderer had died.
Dark green was that spot 'mid the brown mountain heather,
Where the Pilgrim of Nature lay stretched in decay,
Like the corpse of an outcast abandoned to weather
Till the mountain-winds wasted the tenantless clay.
Nor yet quite deserted, though lonely extended,
For, faithful in death, his mute favorite attended,
The much-loved remains of her master defended,
And chased the hill-fox and the raven away.
How long didst thou think that his silence was slumber?
When the wind waved his garment, how oft didst thou start?
How many long days and long weeks didst thou number,
Ere he faded before thee, the friend of thy heart?
And, oh! was it meet, that—no requiem read o'er him—
No mother to weep, and no friend to deplore him,
And thou, little guardian, alone stretched before him—
Unhonored the Pilgrim from life should depart?
When a Prince to the fate of the Peasant has yielded,
The tapestry waves dark round the dim-lighted hall;
With scutcheons of silver the coffin is shielded,
And pages stand mute by the canopied pall:
Through the courts, at deep midnight, the torches are gleaming;
In the proudly-arched chapel the banners are beaming,
Far adown the long isle the sacred music is streaming,
Lamenting a Chief of the People should fall.
But meeter for thee, gentle lover of nature,
To lay down thy head like the meek mountain lamb,
When, 'wildered he drops from some cliff huge in stature,
And draws his last sob by the side of his dam.
And more stately thy couch by this desert lake lying,
Thy obsequies sung by the gray plover flying,
With one faithful friend but to witness thy dying,
In the arms of Helvellyn and Catchedicam.

Walter Scott.


The spearmen heard the bugle sound,
And cheerily smiled the morn,
And many a brach, and many a hound,
Attend Llewellyn's horn.
And still he blew a louder blast,
And gave a louder cheer;
"Come, Gelert! why art thou the last,
Llewellyn's horn to hear?
"Oh, where does faithful Gelert roam?
The flower of all his race!
So true, so brave—a lamb at home,
A lion in the chase!"
That day Llewellyn little loved
The chase of hart or hare;
And scant and small the booty proved,
For Gelert was not there.
Unpleased, Llewellyn homeward hied,
When near the portal seat,
His truant Gelert he espied,
Bounding his lord to greet.
But when he gained the castle door,
Aghast the chieftain stood:
The hound was smeared with drops of gore;
His lips and fangs ran blood.
Llewellyn gazed with wild surprise,
Unused such looks to meet;
His favorite checked his joyful guise,
And crouched and licked his feet.
Onward in haste Llewellyn passed,
(And on went Gelert too;)
And still, where'er his eyes were cast,
Fresh blood-drops shocked his view.
O'erturned his infant's bed he found,
The blood-stained cover rent
And all around the walls and ground
With recent blood besprent.
He called his child—no voice replied;
He searched—with terror wild;
Blood! blood! he found on every side,
But nowhere found the child!
"Monster, by thee my child's devoured!"
The frantic father cried,
And to the hilt his vengeful sword
He plunged in Gelert's side.
His suppliant, as to earth he fell,
No pity could impart;
But still his Gelert's dying yell,
Passed heavy o'er his heart.
Aroused by Gelert's dying yell,
Some slumberer wakened nigh:
What words the parent's joy can tell
To hear his infant cry!
Concealed beneath a mangled heap
His hurried search had missed:
All glowing from his rosy sleep,
His cherub boy he kissed.
Nor scratch had he, nor harm, nor dread;
But the same couch beneath
Lay a great wolf, all torn and dead—
Tremendous still in death.
Ah, what was then Llewellyn's pain!
For now the truth was clear;
The gallant hound the wolf had slain
To save Llewellyn's heir.
Vain, vain was all Llewellyn's woe—
"Best of thy kind, adieu!
The frantic deed which laid thee low
This heart shall ever rue."
And now a gallant tomb they raise,
With costly sculpture decked;
And marbles, storied with his praise,
Poor Gelert's bones protect.
Here never could the spearman pass,
Or forester unmoved;
Here oft the tear-besprinkled grass
Llewellyn's sorrow proved.
And here he hung his horn and spear;
And oft, as evening fell,
In fancy's piercing sounds would hear
Poor Gelert's dying yell.




The Master came one evening to the gate
Of a far city; it was growing late,
And sending his disciples to buy food,
He wandered forth intent on doing good,
As was his wont. And in the market-place
He saw a crowd, close gathered in one space,
Gazing with eager eyes upon the ground.
Jesus drew nearer, and thereon he found
A noisome creature, a bedraggled wreck,—
A dead dog with a halter round his neck.
And those who stood by mocked the object there,
And one said scoffing, "It pollutes the air!"
Another, jeering, asked, "How long to-night
Shall such a miscreant cur offend our sight?"
"Look at his torn hide," sneered a Jewish wit,—
"You could not cut even a shoe from it,"
And turned away. "Behold his ears that bleed,"
A fourth chimed in; "an unclean wretch indeed!"
"He hath been hanged for thieving," they all cried,
And spurned the loathsome beast from side to side.
Then Jesus, standing by them in the street,
Looked on the poor spent creature at his feet,
And, bending o'er him, spake unto the men,
"Pearls are not whiter than his teeth." And then
The people at each other gazed, asking,
"Who is this stranger pitying the vile thing?"
Then one exclaimed, with awe-abated breath,
"This surely is the Man of Nazareth;
This must be Jesus, for none else but he
Something to praise in a dead dog could see!"
And, being ashamed, each scoffer bowed his head,
And from the sight of Jesus turned and fled.

Alger's Eastern Poetry.


"Kind traveller, do not pass me by,
And thus a poor old dog forsake;
But stop a moment on your way,
And hear my woe for pity's sake!
"My name is Rover; yonder house
Was once my home for many a year;
My master loved me; every hand
Caressed young Rover, far and near.
"The children rode upon my back,
And I could hear my praises sung;
With joy I licked their pretty feet,
As round my shaggy sides they clung.
"I watched them while they played or slept;
I gave them all I had to give:
My strength was theirs from morn till night;
For them I only cared to live.
"Now I am old, and blind, and lame,
They've turned me out to die alone,
Without a shelter for my head,
Without a scrap of bread or bone.
"This morning I can hardly crawl,
While shivering in the snow and hail;
My teeth are dropping, one by one;
I scarce have strength to wag my tail.
"I'm palsied grown with mortal pains,
My withered limbs are useless now;
My voice is almost gone you see,
And I can hardly make my bow.
"Perhaps you'll lead me to a shed
Where I may find some friendly straw
On which to lay my aching limbs,
And rest my helpless, broken paw.
"Stranger, excuse this story long,
And pardon, pray, my last appeal;
You've owned a dog yourself, perhaps,
And learned that dogs, like men, can feel."
Yes, poor old Rover, come with me;
Food, with warm shelter, I'll supply;
And Heaven forgive the cruel souls
Who drove you forth to starve and die!

J. T. Fields.


My dear dumb friend, low lying there,
A willing vassal at my feet,
Glad partner of my home and fare,
My shadow in the street.
I look into your great brown eyes,
Where love and loyal homage shine,
And wonder where the difference lies
Between your soul and mine!
For all of good that I have found
Within myself or humankind,
Hath royalty informed and crowned
Your gentle heart and mind.
I scan the whole broad earth around
For that one heart which, leal and true,
Bears friendship without end or bound,
And find the prize in you.
I trust you as I trust the stars;
Nor cruel loss, nor scoff of pride,
Nor beggary, nor dungeon-bars,
Can move you from my side!
As patient under injury
As any Christian saint of old,
As gentle as a lamb with me,
But with your brothers bold;
More playful than a frolic boy,
More watchful than a sentinel,
By day and night your constant joy,
To guard and please me well:
I clasp your head upon my breast—
And while you whine and lick my hand—
And thus our friendship is confessed
And thus we understand!
Ah, Blanco! did I worship God
As truly as you worship me,
Or follow where my master trod
With your humility;
Did I sit fondly at His feet,
As you, dear Blanco, sit at mine,
And watch him with a love as sweet,
My life would grow divine!

J. G. Holland.


"Pay down three dollars for my hound!
May lightning strike me to the ground!
What mean the Messieurs of police?
And when and where shall this mockery cease?
"I am a poor, old, sickly man,
And earn a penny I no wise can;
I have no money, I have no bread,
And live upon hunger and want, instead.
"Who pitied me, when I grew sick and poor,
And neighbors turned me from their door?
And who, when I was left alone
In God's wide world, made my fortunes his own?
"Who loved me, when I was weak and old?
And warmed me, when I was numb with cold?
And who, when I in poverty pined,
Has shared my hunger and never whined?
"Here is the noose, and here the stone,
And there the water—it must be done!
Come hither, poor Pomp, and look not on me,
One kick—it is over—and thou art free!"
As over his head he lifted the band,
The fawning dog licked his master's hand;
Back in an instant the noose he drew,
And round his own neck in a twinkling threw.
The dog sprang after him into the deep,
His howlings startled the sailors from sleep;
Moaning and twitching he showed them the spot:
They found the beggar, but life was not!
They laid him silently in the ground,
His only mourner the whimpering hound
Who stretched himself out on the grave and cried
Like an orphan child—and so he died.

Chamisso, tr. by C. T. Brooks.


This is Don, the dog of dogs, sir,
Just as lions outrank frogs, sir,
Just as the eagles are superior
To buzzards and that tribe inferior.
He's a shepherd lad—a beauty—
And to praise him seems a duty,
But it puts my pen to shame, sir,
When his virtues I would name, sir.
"Don! come here and bend your head now,
Let us see your best well-bred bow!"
Was there ever such a creature!
Common sense in every feature!
"Don! rise up and look around you!"
Blessings on the day we found you.
Sell him! well, upon my word, sir,
That's a notion too absurd, sir.
Would I sell our little Ally,
Barter Tom, dispose of Sally?
Think you I'd negotiate
For my wife, at any rate?
Sell our Don! you're surely joking,
And 'tis fun at us you're poking!
Twenty voyages we've tried, sir,
Sleeping, waking, side by side, sir,
And Don and I will not divide, sir;
He's my friend, that's why I love him,—
And no mortal dog's above him!
He prefers a life aquatic,
But never dog was less dogmatic.
Years ago when I was master
Of a tight brig called the Castor,
Don and I were bound for Cadiz,
With the loveliest of ladies
And her boy—a stalwart, hearty,
Crowing one-year infant party,
Full of childhood's myriad graces,
Bubbling sunshine in our faces
As we bowled along so steady,
Half-way home, or more, already.
How the sailors loved our darling!
No more swearing, no more snarling;
On their backs, when not on duty,
Round they bore the blue-eyed beauty,—
Singing, shouting, leaping, prancing,—
All the crew took turns in dancing;
Every tar playing Punchinello
With the pretty, laughing fellow;
Even the second mate gave sly winks
At the noisy mid-day high jinks.
Never was a crew so happy
With a curly-headed chappy,
Never were such sports gigantic,
Never dog with joy more antic.
While thus jolly, all together,
There blew up a change of weather,
Nothing stormy, but quite breezy,
And the wind grew damp and wheezy,
Like a gale in too low spirits
To put forth one half its merits,
But, perchance, a dry-land ranger
Might suspect some kind of danger.
Soon our stanch and gallant vessel
With the waves began to wrestle,
And to jump about a trifle,
Sometimes kicking like a rifle
When 'tis slightly overloaded,
But by no means nigh exploded.
'Twas the coming on of twilight,
As we stood abaft the skylight,
Scampering round to please the baby,
(Old Bill Benson held him, maybe,)
When the youngster stretched his fingers
Towards the spot where sunset lingers,
And with strong and sudden motion
Leaped into the weltering ocean!
"What did Don do?" Can't you guess, sir?
He sprang also—by express, sir;
Seized the infant's little dress, sir,
Held the baby's head up boldly
From the waves that rushed so coldly;
And in just about a minute
Our boat had them safe within it.
Sell him! Would you sell your brother?
Don and I love one another.

J. T. Fields.


Four years!—and didst thou stay above
The ground, which hides thee now, but four?
And all that life, and all that love,
Were crowded, Geist! into no more?
Only four years those winning ways,
Which make me for thy presence yearn,
Called us to pet thee or to praise,
Dear little friend! at every turn?
That loving heart, that patient soul,
Had they indeed no longer span,
To run their course, and reach their goal,
And read their homily to man?
That liquid, melancholy eye,
From whose pathetic, soul-fed springs
Seemed surging the Virgilian cry.1
The sense of tears in mortal things—
That steadfast, mournful strain, consoled
By spirits gloriously gay,
And temper of heroic mould—
What, was four years their whole short day?
Yes, only four!—and not the course
Of all the centuries to come,
And not the infinite resource
Of nature, with her countless sum.
Of figures, with her fulness vast
Of new creation evermore,
Can ever quite repeat the past,
Or just thy little self restore.
Stern law of every mortal lot!
Which man, proud man, finds hard to bear,
And builds himself I know not what
Of second life I know not where.
But thou, when struck thine hour to go,
On us, who stood despondent by,
A meek last glance of love didst throw,
And humbly lay thee down to die.
Yet would we keep thee in our heart—
Would fix our favorite on the scene,
Nor let thee utterly depart
And be as if thou ne'er hadst been.
And so there rise these lines of verse
On lips that rarely form them now;
While to each other we rehearse:
Such ways, such arts, such looks hast thou!
We stroke thy broad, brown paws again,
We bid thee to thy vacant chair,
We greet thee by the window-pane,
We hear thy scuffle on the stair;
We see the flaps of thy large ears
Quick raised to ask which way we go:
Crossing the frozen lake appears
Thy small black figure on the snow!
Nor to us only art thou dear
Who mourn thee in thine English home;
Thou hast thine absent master's tear,
Dropt by the far Australian foam.
Thy memory lasts both here and there,
And thou shalt live as long as we.
And after that—thou dost not care?
In us was all the world to thee.
Yet fondly zealous for thy fame,
Even to a date beyond thine own
We strive to carry down thy name,
By mounded turf, and graven stone.
We lay thee, close within our reach,
Here, where the grass is smooth and warm,
Between the holly and the beech,
Where oft we watched thy couchant form,
Asleep, yet lending half an ear
To travellers on the Portsmouth road—
There choose we thee, O guardian dear,
Marked with a stone, thy last abode!
Then some, who through the garden pass,
When we too, like thyself, are clay,
Shall see thy grave upon the grass,
And stop before the stone, and say:—
People who lived here long ago
Did by this stone, it seems, intend
To name for future times to know
The dachs-hound, Geist, their little friend.

Matthew Arnold.


Poor old friend, how earnestly
Would I have pleaded for thee! thou hadst been
Still the companion of my boyish sports;
And as I roamed o'er Avon's woody cliffs,
From many a day-dream has thy short, quick bark
Recalled my wandering soul. I have beguiled
Often the melancholy hours at school,
Soured by some little tyrant, with the thought
Of distant home, and I remembered then
Thy faithful fondness; for not mean the joy,
Returning at the happy holidays,
I felt from thy dumb welcome. Pensively
Sometimes have I remarked thy slow decay,
Feeling myself changed too, and musing much
On many a sad vicissitude of life.
Ah, poor companion! when thou followedst last
Thy master's parting footsteps to the gate
Which closed forever on him, thou didst lose
Thy truest friend, and none was left to plead
For the old age of brute fidelity.
But fare thee well! Mine is no narrow creed;
And He who gave thee being did not frame
The mystery of life to be the sport
Of merciless man. There is another world
For all that live and move—a better one!
Where the proud bipeds, who would fain confine
Infinite Goodness to the little bounds
Of their own charity, may envy thee.

Robert Southey.


The monument erected at Edinburgh to the memory of "Grey Friars' Bobby" by the Baroness Burdett-Coutts has a Greek inscription by Professor Blackie. The translation is as follows:

This monument
was erected by a noble lady,
The Baroness Burdett-coutts,
to the memory of
a faithful and affectionate
Little Dog,
who followed the remains of his beloved master
to the churchyard,
in the year 1858,
and became a constant visitor to the grave,
refusing to be separated from the spot
until he died
in the year 1872.


When some proud son of man returns to earth,
Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,
The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests below;
When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been:
But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labors, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonored falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth.

Ye! who perchance behold this simple urn,
Pass on,—it honors none you wish to mourn;
To mark a friend's remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one,—and here he lies.

Lord Byron, 1808.


Poor friend and sport of man, like him unwise,
Away! Thou standest to his heart too near,
Too close for careless rest or healthy cheer;
Almost in thee the glad brute nature dies.
Go scour the fields in wilful enterprise,
Lead the free chase, leap, plunge into the mere,
Herd with thy fellows, stay no longer here,
Seeking thy law and gospel in men's eyes.
He cannot go; love holds him fast to thee;
More than the voices of his kind thy word
Lives in his heart; for him thy very rod
Has flowers: he only in thy will is free.
Cast him not out, the unclaimed savage herd
Would turn and rend him, pining for his God.

Emily Pfeiffer.


A poor little tramp of a doggie, one day,
Low-spirited, weary, and sad,
From a crowd of rude urchins ran limping away,
And followed a dear little lad.
Whose round, chubby face, with the merry eyes blue,
Made doggie think, "Here is a good boy and true!"
So, wagging his tail and expressing his views
With a sort of affectionate whine,
Johnny knew he was saying, "Dear boy, if you choose,
To be any dog's master, be mine."
And Johnny's blue eyes opened wide with delight,
And he fondled the doggie and hugged him so tight.
But alas! on a day that to Johnny was sad,
A newspaper notice he read,
"Lost a dog: limped a little, and also he had
A spot on the top of his head.
Whoever returns him to me may believe
A fair compensation he'll surely receive."
Johnny didn't want money, not he; 'twasn't that
That made him just sit down to think,
And made a grave look on his rosy face fat,
And made those blue eyes of his wink
To keep back the tears that were ready to flow,
As he thought to himself, "Must the dear doggie go?"
'Twas an argument Johnny was holding just there
With his own little conscience so true.
"It is plain," whispered conscience, "that if you'd be fair,
There is only one thing you can do;
Restore to his owner the dog; don't delay,
But attend to your duty at once, and to-day!"
No wonder he sat all so silent and still,
Forgetting to fondle his pet—
The poor little boy thinking hard with a will;
While thought doggie, "What makes him forget,
I wonder, to frolic and play with me now,
And why does he wear such a sorrowful brow?"
Well, how did it end? Johnny's battle was fought,
And the victory given to him:
The dearly-loved pet to his owner was brought,
Tho' it made little Johnny's eyes dim.
But a wag of his tail doggie gives to this day
Whenever our Johnny is passing that way.

Mary D. Brine.


On the green banks of Shannon, when Sheelah was nigh,
No blithe Irish lad was so happy as I;
No harp like my own could so cheerily play,
And wherever I went was my poor dog Tray.
When at last I was forced from my Sheelah to part,
She said (while the sorrow was big at her heart),
Oh, remember your Sheelah when far, far away!
And be kind, my dear Pat, to our poor dog Tray.
Poor dog! he was faithful and kind, to be sure;
He constantly loved me although I was poor;
When the sour-looking folks turned me heartless away,
I had always a friend in my poor dog Tray.
When the road was so dark, and the night was so cold,
And Pat and his dog were grown weary and old,
How snugly we slept in my old coat of gray!
And he licked me for kindness,—my poor dog Tray.
Though my wallet was scant, I remembered his case,
Nor refused my last crust to his pitiful face;
But he died at my feet on a cold winter day,
And I played a sad lament for my poor dog Tray.
Where now shall I go, poor, forsaken, and blind?
Can I find one to guide me, so faithful and kind?
To my sweet native village, so far, far away,
I can never return with my poor dog Tray.

Thomas Campbell.


Never again shall her leaping welcome
Hail my coming at eventide;
Never again shall her glancing footfall
Range the fallow from side to side.
Under the raindrops, under the snowflakes,
Down in a narrow and darksome bed,
Safe from sorrow, or fear, or loving,
Lieth my beautiful, still and dead.
Mouth of silver, and skin of satin,
Foot as fleet as an arrow's flight,
Statue-still at the call of "steady,"
Eyes as clear as the stars of night.
Laughing breadths of the yellow stubble
Now shall rustle to alien tread,
And rabbits run in the dew-dim clover
Safe—for my beautiful lieth dead.
"Only a dog!" do you say, Sir Critic?
Only a dog, but as truth I prize,
The truest love I have won in living
Lay in the deeps of her limpid eyes.
Frosts of winter nor heat of summer
Could make her fail if my footsteps led;
And memory holds in its treasure-casket
The name of my darling who lieth dead.

S. M. A. C. in Evening Post.


As fly the shadows o'er the grass,
He flies with step as light and sure.
He hunts the wolf through Tostan Pass,
And starts the deer by Lisanoure.
The music of the Sabbath bells,
O Con! has not a sweeter sound,
Than when along the valley swells
The cry of John McDonnell's hound.
His stature tall, his body long,
His back like night, his breast like snow,
His fore leg pillar-like and strong,
His hind leg bended like a bow;
Rough, curling hair, head long and thin,
His ear a leaf so small and round;
Not Bran, the favorite dog of Fin,
Could rival John McDonnell's hound.

Denis Florence Maccarthy.


My little rough dog and I
Live a life that is rather rare,
We have so many good walks to take,
And so few bad things to bear;
So much that gladdens and recreates,
So little of wear and tear.
Sometimes it blows and rains,
But still the six feet ply;
No care at all to the following four
If the leading two knows why,
'Tis a pleasure to have six feet we think,
My little rough dog and I.
And we travel all one way;
'Tis a thing we should never do,
To reckon the two without the four,
Or the four without the two;
It would not be right if any one tried,
Because it would not be true.
And who shall look up and say,
That it ought not so to be,
Though the earth that is heaven enough for him,
Is less than that to me,
For a little rough dog can wake a joy
That enters eternity.

Humane Journal.


Ah, Rover, by those lustrous eyes
That follow me with longing gaze,
Which sometimes seem so human-wise,
I look for human speech and ways.
By your quick instinct, matchless love,
Your eager welcome, mute caress,
That all my heart's emotions move,
And loneliest moods and hours bless,
I do believe, my dog, that you
Have some beyond, some future new.
Why not? In heaven's inheritance
Space must be cheap where worldly light
In boundless, limitless expanse
Rolls grandly far from human sight.
He who has given such patient care,
Such constancy, such tender trust,
Such ardent zeal, such instincts rare,
And made you something more than dust,
May yet release the speechless thrall
At death—there's room enough for all.

Our Continent.


Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutored mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul proud science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk, or milky way;
Yet simple nature to his hope has given,
Behind the cloud-topped hill, an humbler heaven;
Some safer world in depth of woods embraced,
Some happier island in the watery waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
To be, contents his natural desire,
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.



A traveller, by the faithful hound,
Half-buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device,

H. W. Longfellow.



Robert, the Bruce, in his dungeon stood,
Waiting the hour of doom;
Behind him the palace of Holyrood,
Before him—a nameless tomb.
And the foam on his lip was flecked with red,
As away to the past his memory sped,
Upcalling the day of his past renown,
When he won and he wore the Scottish crown:
Yet come there shadow or come there shine,
The spider is spinning his thread so fine.
"Time and again I have fronted the tide
Of the tyrant's vast array,
But only to see on the crimson tide
My hopes swept far away;—
Now a landless chief and a crownless king,
On the broad, broad earth not a living thing
To keep me court, save this insect small,
Striving to reach from wall to wall:"
For come there shadow or come there shine,
The spider is spinning his thread so fine.
"Work! work like a fool, to the certain loss,
Like myself, of your time and pain;
The space is too wide to be bridged across,
You but waste your strength in vain!"
And Bruce for the moment forgot his grief,
His soul now filled with the sure belief
That, howsoever the issue went,
For evil or good was the omen sent:
And come there shadow or come there shine,
The spider is spinning his thread so fine.
As a gambler watches the turning card
On which his all is staked,—
As a mother waits for the hopeful word
For which her soul has ached,—
It was thus Bruce watched, with every sense
Centred alone in that look intense;
All rigid he stood, with scattered breath—
Now white, now red, but as still as death:
Yet come there shadow or come there shine,
The spider is spinning his thread so fine.
Six several times the creature tried,
When at the seventh, "See, see!
He has spanned it over!" the captive cried;
"Lo! a bridge of hope to me;
Thee, God, I thank, for this lesson here
Has tutored my soul to PERSEVERE!"
And it served him well, for erelong he wore
In freedom the Scottish crown once more:
And come there shadow or come there shine,
The spider is spinning his thread so fine.

John Brougham.


Who taught the natives of the field and flood
To shun their poison and to choose their food?
Prescient, the tides or tempests to withstand,
Build on the wave, or arch beneath the sand?
Who made the spider parallels design
Sure as De Moivre, without rule or line?
Who bid the stork Columbus-like explore
Heavens not his own, and worlds unknown before?
Who calls the council, states the certain day,
Who forms the phalanx, and who points the way?



Now recommenced the reign of rest and affection and stillness.
Day with its burden and heat had departed, and twilight descending
Brought back the evening star to the sky, and the herds to the homestead.
Pawing the ground they came, and resting their necks on each other,
And with their nostrils distended inhaling the freshness of evening.
Foremost, bearing the bell, Evangeline's beautiful heifer,
Proud of her snow-white hide, and the ribbon that waved from her collar,
Quietly paced and slow, as if conscious of human affection.
Then came the shepherd back with his bleating flocks from the seaside,
Where was their favorite pasture. Behind them followed the watch-dog,
Patient, full of importance, and grand in the pride of his instinct,
Walking from side to side with a lordly air, and superbly
Waving his bushy tail, and urging forward the stragglers;
Regent of flocks was he when the shepherd slept; their protector,
When from the forest at night, through the starry silence, the wolves howled.
Late, with the rising moon, returned the wains from the marshes,
Laden with briny hay, that filled the air with its odor,
Cheerily neighed the steeds, with dew on their manes and their fetlocks,
While aloft on their shoulders the wooden and ponderous saddles,
Painted with brilliant dyes, and adorned with tassels of crimson,
Nodded in bright array, like hollyhocks heavy with blossoms.
Patiently stood the cows meanwhile, and yielded their udders
Unto the milkmaid's hand; whilst loud and in regular cadence
Into the sounding pails the foaming streamlets descended.
Lowing of cattle and peals of laughter were heard in the farm-yard,
Echoed back by the barns. Anon they sank into stillness;
Heavily closed, with a jarring sound, the valves of the barn-doors,
Rattled the wooden bars, and all for a season was silent.

H. W. Longfellow: Evangeline.


And now, beset with many ills,
A toilsome life I follow;
Compelled to carry from the hills,
These logs to the impatient mills,
Below there in the hollow.
Yet something ever cheers and charms
The rudeness of my labors;
Daily I water with these arms
The cattle of a hundred farms,
And have the birds for neighbors.

H. W. Longfellow: Mad River.


Dozing, and dozing, and dozing!
Pleasant enough,
Dreaming of sweet cream and mouse-meat,—
Delicate stuff!
Waked by a somerset, whirling
From cushion to floor;
Waked to a wild rush for safety
From window to door.
Waking to hands that first smooth us,
And then pull our tails;
Punished with slaps when we show them
The length of our nails!
These big mortal tyrants even grudge us
A place on the mat.
Do they think we enjoy for our music
Staccatoes of "scat"?
To be treated, now, just as you treat us,—
The question is pat,—
To take just our chances in living,
Would you be a cat?

Lucy Larcom.


Want any papers, Mister?
Wish you'd buy 'em of me—
Ten year old, an' a fam'ly,
An' bizness dull, you see.
Fact, Boss! There's Tom, an' Tibby,
An' Dad, an' Mam, an Mam's cat,
None on 'em earning money—
What do you think of that?
Couldn't Dad work? Why yes, Boss,
He's working for gov'ment now,—
They give him his board for nothin',—
All along of a drunken row.
An' Mam? Well, she's in the poorhouse,—
Been there a year or so;
So I'm taking care of the others,
Doing as well as I know.
Oughtn't to live so? Why, Mister,
What's a feller to do?
Some nights, when I'm tired an' hungry,
Seems as if each on 'em knew—
They'll all three cuddle around me,
Till I get cheery, and say:
Well, p'raps I'll have sisters an' brothers,
An' money an' clothes, too, some day.
But if I do git rich, Boss,
(An' a lecturin' chap one night
Said newsboys could be Presidents
If only they acted right);
So, if I was President, Mister,
The very first thing I'd do,
I'd buy poor Tom an' Tibby
A dinner—an' Mam's cat, too!
None o' your scraps an' leavin's,
But a good square meal for all three;
If you think I'd skimp my friends, Boss,
That shows you don't know me.
So 'ere's your papers—come take one,
Gimme a lift if you can—
For now you've heard my story,
You see I'm a fam'ly man!

E. T. Corbett.


I like little pussy, her coat is so warm,
And if I don't hurt her, she'll do me no harm;
So I'll not pull her tail, nor drive her away,
But pussy and I very gently will play:
She shall sit by my side, and I'll give her some food;
And she'll love me, because I am gentle and good.
I'll pat little pussy, and then she will purr,
And thus show her thanks for my kindness to her.

E. Taylor.


They in the valley's sheltering care,
Soon crop the meadow's tender prime,
And when the sod grows brown and bare,
The shepherd strives to make them climb
To airy shelves of pastures green
That hang along the mountain's side,
Where grass and flowers together lean,
And down through mists the sunbeams slide:
But nought can tempt the timid things
The steep and rugged paths to try,
Though sweet the shepherd calls and sings,
And seared below the pastures lie,—
Till in his arms their lambs he takes
Along the dizzy verge to go,
Then heedless of the rifts and breaks
They follow on o'er rock and snow.
And in those pastures lifted fair,
More dewy soft than lowland mead,
The shepherd drops his tender care,
And sheep and lambs together feed.

Maria Lowell.


Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life and made thee feed
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,—
Softest clothing, woolly, bright?
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice;
Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Little lamb, I'll tell thee;
Little lamb, I'll tell thee;
He is callen by thy name,
For he calls himself a lamb.
He is meek, and He is mild;
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little lamb, God bless thee!
Little lamb, God bless thee!

William Blake.


Well—one at least is safe. One sheltered hare
Has never heard the sanguinary yell
Of cruel man, exulting in her woes.
Innocent partner of my peaceful home,
Whom ten long years' experience of my care
Has made at last familiar, she has lost
Much of her vigilant instinctive dread,
Not needful here, beneath a roof like mine.
Yes—thou mayst eat thy bread, and lick the hand
That feeds thee; thou mayst frolic on the floor
At evening, and at night retire secure
To thy straw-couch, and slumber unalarmed;
For I have gained thy confidence, have pledged
All that is human in me to protect
Thine unsuspecting gratitude and love.
If I survive thee I will dig thy grave,
And when I place thee in it, sighing say,
I knew at least one hare that had a friend.



Turn, turn thy hasty foot aside,
Nor crush that helpless worm!
The frame thy wayward looks deride
Required a God to form.
The common lord of all that move,
From whom thy being flowed,
A portion of his boundless love
On that poor worm bestowed.
Let them enjoy their little day,
Their humble bliss receive;
Oh! do not lightly take away
The life thou canst not give!

T. Gisborne.


I've despised you, old worm, for I think you'll admit
That you never were beautiful even in youth;
I've impaled you on hooks, and not felt it a bit;
But all's changed now that Darwin has told us the truth
Of your diligent life, and endowed you with fame:
You begin to inspire me with kindly regard.
I have friends of my own, clever worm, I could name,
Who have ne'er in their lives been at work half so hard.
It appears that we owe you our acres of soil,
That the garden could never exist without you,
That from ages gone by you were patient in toil,
Till a Darwin revealed all the good that you do.
Now you've turned with a vengeance, and all must confess
Your behavior should make poor humanity squirm;
For there's many a man on this planet, I guess,
Who is not half so useful as you, Mister worm.



Green little vaulter in the sunny grass,
Catching your heart up at the feet of June,
Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy noon,
Whenever the bees lag at the summoning brass;
And you, warm little housekeeper, who class
With those who think the candles come too soon,
Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune
Nicks the glad silent moments as they pass.
O sweet and tidy cousins, that belong
One to the fields, the other to the hearth,
Both have your sunshine: both, though small, are strong
At your clear hearts; and both seem given to earth
To ring in thoughtful ears this natural song—
Indoors and out, summer and winter, Mirth.

Leigh Hunt.


Therefore doth Heaven divide
The state of man in divers functions,
Setting endeavor in continual motion;
To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,
Obedience: for so work the honey-bees;
Creatures, that, by a rule in nature, teach
The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king and officers of sorts:
Where some, like magistrates, correct at home;
Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings,
Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds;
Which pillage they with merry march bring home
To the tent royal of their emperor:
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold;
The civil citizens kneading up the honey;
The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate;
The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o'er to the executioner's pale
The lazy, yawning drone.

Shakespeare: Henry V., Act 1, Sc. 2.


Said a little wandering maiden
To a bee with honey laden,
"Bee, at all the flowers you work,
Yet in some does poison lurk."
"That I know, my little maiden,"
Said the bee with honey laden;
"But the poison I forsake,
And the honey only take."
"Cunning bee with honey laden,
That is right," replied the maiden;
"So will I, from all I meet,
Only draw the good and sweet."



Only an insect; yet I know
It felt the sunlight's golden glow,
And the sweet morning made it glad
With all the little heart it had.
It saw the shadows move; it knew
The grass-blades glittered, wet with dew;
And gayly o'er the ground it went;
It had its fulness of content.
Some dainty morsel then it spied,
And for the treasure turned aside;
Then, laden with its little spoil,
Back to its nest began to toil.
An insect formed of larger frame,
Called man, along the pathway came.
A ruthless foot aside he thrust,
And ground the beetle in the dust.
Perchance no living being missed
The life that there ceased to exist;
Perchance the passive creature knew
No wrong, nor felt the deed undue;
Yet its small share of life was given
By the same hand that orders heaven.
'Twas for no other power to say,
Or should it go or should it stay.



I know an old couple that lived in a wood—
Chipperee, chipperee, chip!
And up in a tree-top their dwelling it stood—
Chipperee, chipperee, chip!
The summer it came, and the summer it went—
Chipperee, chipperee, chip!
And there they lived on, and they never paid rent—
Chipperee, chipperee, chip!
Their parlor was lined with the softest of wool—
Chipperee, chipperee, chip!
Their kitchen was warm, and their pantry was full—
Chipperee, chipperee, chip!
And four little babies peeped out at the sky—
Chipperee, chipperee, chip!
You never saw darlings so pretty and shy—
Chipperee, chipperee, chip!
Now winter came on with its frost and its snow—
Chipperee, chipperee, chip!
They cared not a bit when they heard the wind blow—
Chipperee, chipperee, chip!
For, wrapped in their furs, they all lay down to sleep—
Chipperee, chipperee, chip!
But oh, in the spring, how their bright eyes will peep—
Chipperee, chipperee, chip!



The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel;
And the former called the latter "Little Prig."
Bun replied,
"You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together
To make up a year
And a sphere;
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If I'm not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry.
I'll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track.
Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut."



Wee sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous beastie,
Oh, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin and chase thee
Wi' murd'ring pattle!
I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor earth-born companion
And fellow-mortal!
Thou saw the fields lay bare and waste
And weary winter comin' fast,
And cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till, crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane2
In proving foresight may be bain:
The best laid schemes o' mice and men
Gang aft a-gley,
And lea'e us nought but grief and vain,
For promised joy.



See what a lovely shell,
Small and pure as a pearl,
Lying close to my foot.
Frail, but a work divine,
Made so fairily well
With delicate spire and whorl.
How exquisitely minute
A miracle of design!
The tiny cell is forlorn,
Void of the little living will
That made it stir on the shore.
Did he stand at the diamond door
Of his house in a rainbow frill?
Did he push when he was uncurled,
A golden foot or a fairy horn
Through his dim water-world?
Slight, to be crushed with a tap
Of my finger-nail on the sand;
Small, but a work divine:
Frail, but of force to withstand,
Year upon year, the shock
Of cataract seas that snap
The three-decker's oaken spine,
Athwart the ledges of rock,
Here on the Breton strand.

Alfred Tennyson.


This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sails the unshadowed main,—
The venturous bark that flings

On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings
In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings,
And coral reefs lie bare,
Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.
Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
Wrecked is the ship of pearl!
And every chambered cell,
Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell,
As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell,
Before thee lies revealed,—
Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!
Year after year beheld the silent toil
That spread his lustrous coil;
Still, as the spiral grew,
He left the past year's dwelling for the new,
Stole with soft steps its shining archway through,
Built up its idle door,
Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.
Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
Child of the wandering sea,
Cast from her lap, forlorn!
From thy dead lips a clearer note is born
Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn!
While on mine ear it rings,
Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:—
"Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven within a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unwresting sea!"

O. W. Holmes.


When he heard the owls at midnight,
Hooting, laughing in the forest,
"What is that?" he cried in terror;
"What is that?" he said, "Nokomis?"
And the good Nokomis answered:
"That is but the owl and owlet,
Talking in their native language,
Talking, scolding at each other."
Then the little Hiawatha
Learned of every bird its language,
Learned their names and all their secrets,
How they built their nests in Summer,
Where they hid themselves in Winter,
Talked with them whene'er he met them,
Called them "Hiawatha's Chickens."
Of all beasts he learned the language,
Learned their names and all their secrets,
How the beavers built their lodges,
Where the squirrels hid their acorns,
How the reindeer ran so swiftly,
Why the rabbit was so timid,
Talked with them whene'er he met them,
Called them "Hiawatha's Brothers."
Then Iagoo, the great boaster,
He the marvellous story-teller,
He the traveller and the talker,
He the friend of old Nokomis,
Made a bow for Hiawatha;
From a branch of ash he made it,
From an oak-bough made the arrows,
Tipped with flint, and winged with feathers,
And the cord he made of deer-skin.
Then he said to Hiawatha:
"Go, my son, into the forest,
Where the red deer herd together,
Kill for us a famous roebuck,
Kill for us a deer with antlers!"
Forth into the forest straightway
All alone walked Hiawatha
Proudly, with his bow and arrows;
And the birds sang ruffed him, o'er him,
"Do not shoot us, Hiawatha!"
Sang the robin, the Opechee,
Sang the bluebird, the Owaissa,
"Do not shoot us, Hiawatha!"
Up the oak-tree, close beside him,
Sprang the squirrel, Adjidaumo,
In and out among the branches,
Coughed and chattered from the oak-tree,
Laughed, and said between his laughing,
"Do not shoot me, Hiawatha!"
And the rabbit from his pathway
Leaped aside, and at a distance
Sat erect upon his haunches,
Half in fear and half in frolic,
Saying to the little hunter,
"Do not shoot me, Hiawatha!"
But he heeded not, nor heard them,
For his thoughts were with the red deer;
On their tracks his eyes were fastened,
Leading downward to the river,
To the ford across the river,
And as one in slumber walked he.

H. W. Longfellow: Hiawatha.


The Being that is in the clouds and air,
That is in the green leaves among the groves,
Maintains a deep and reverential care
For the unoffending creatures whom he loves.
One lesson, Shepherd, let us two divide,
Taught both by what He shows, and what conceals,
Never to blend our pleasure or our pride
With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels.



And sooth to say, yon vocal grove
Albeit uninspired by love,
By love untaught to ring,
May well afford to mortal ear
An impulse more profoundly dear
Than music of the spring.
But list! though winter storms be nigh
Unchecked is that soft harmony:
There lives Who can provide,
For all his creatures: and in Him,
Even like the radiant Seraphim,
These choristers confide.



Happy, happy liver,
With a soul as strong as a mountain river,
Pouring out praises to the Almighty Giver.



When weary, weary winter
Hath melted into air,
And April leaf and blossom
Hath clothed the branches bare,
Came round our English dwelling
A voice of summer cheer:
'Twas thine, returning swallow,
The welcome and the dear.
Far on the billowy ocean
A thousand leagues are we,
Yet here, sad hovering o'er our bark,
What is it that we see?
Dear old familiar swallow,
What gladness dost thou bring:
Here rest upon our flowing sail
Thy weary, wandering wing.

Mrs. Howitt.


Birds, joyous birds of the wandering wing
Whence is it ye come with the flowers of spring?
"We come from the shores of the green old Nile,
From the land where the roses of Sharon smile,
From the palms that wave through the Indian sky,
From the myrrh trees of glowing Araby."

Mrs. Hemans.


With elegies of love
Make vocal every spray.



Whither hath the wood thrush flown
From our greenwood bowers?
Wherefore builds he not again
Where the wild thorn flowers?
Bid him come! for on his wings
The sunny year he bringeth,
And the heart unlocks its springs
Wheresoe'er he singeth.

Barry Cornwall.


Within the bush her covert nest
A little linnet fondly prest,
The dew sat chilly on her breast
Sae early in the morning.
She soon shall see her tender brood
The pride, the pleasure o' the wood,
Among the fresh green leaves bedewed,
Awake the early morning.



But thee no wintry skies can harm
Who only needs to sing
To make even January charm
And every season Spring.



Little feathered songsters of the air
In woodlands tuneful woo and fondly pair.




The "Chapter of the Cattle:" Heaven is whose,
And whose is earth? Say Allah's, That did choose
On His own might to lay the law of mercy.
He, at the Resurrection, will not lose
One of His own. What falleth, night or day,
Falleth by His Almighty word alway.
Wilt thou have any other Lord than Allah,
Who is not fed, but feedeth all flesh? Say!
For if He visit thee with woe, none makes
The woe to cease save He; and if He takes
Pleasure to send thee pleasure, He is Master
Over all gifts; nor doth His thought forsake
The creatures of the field, nor fowls that fly;
They are "a people" also: "These, too, I
Have set," the Lord saith, "in My book of record;
These shall be gathered to Me by and by."
With Him of all things secret are the keys;
None other hath them, but He hath; and sees
Whatever is in land, or air, or water,
Each bloom that blows, each foam-bell on the seas.

E. Arnold: Pearls of the Faith.

I cannot believe that any creature was created for uncompensated misery; it would be contrary to God's mercy and justice.

Mary Somerville.


The spider and the dove,—what thing is weak
If Allah makes it strong?
The spider and the dove! if He protect,
Fear thou not foeman's wrong.
From Mecca to Medina fled our Lord,
The horsemen followed fast;
Into a cave to shun their murderous rage,
Mohammed, weary, passed.
Quoth Aba Bekr, "If they see me die!"
Quoth Eba Foheir, "Away!"
The guide Abdallah said, "The sand is deep,
Those footmarks will betray."
Then spake our Lord "We are not four but Five;
He who protects is here.
'Come! Al-Muhaimin' now will blind their eyes;
Enter, and have no fear."
The band drew nigh; one of the Koreish cried,
"Search ye out yonder cleft,
I see the print of sandalled feet which turn
Thither, upon the left!"
But when they drew unto the cavern's mouth,
Lo, at its entering in,
A ring-necked desert-dove sat on her eggs;
The mate cooed soft within.
And right athwart the shadow of the cave
A spider's web was spread;
The creature hung upon her web at watch;
Unbroken was each thread;
"By Thammuz' blood," the unbelievers cried,
"Our toil and time are lost;
Where doves hatch, and the spider spins her snare,
No foot of man hath crossed!"
Thus did a desert bird and spider guard
The blessed Prophet then;
For all things serve their maker and their God
Better than thankless men.

Pearls of the Faith.


There came before our Lord a certain one
Who said, "O Prophet! as I passed the wood
I heard the voice of youngling doves which cried,
While near the nest their pearl-necked mother cooed.
"Then in my cloth I tied those fledglings twain,
But all the way the mother fluttered nigh;
See! she hath followed hither." Spake our Lord:
"Open thy knotted cloth, and stand thou by."
But when she spied her nestlings, from the palm
Down flew the dove, of peril unafeared,
So she might succor these. "Seest thou not,"
Our Lord said, "how the heart of this poor bird
"Grows by her love, greater than his who rides
Full-face against the spear-blades? Thinkest thou
Such fire divine was kindled to be quenched?
I tell ye nay! Put back upon the bough
"The nest she claimeth thus: I tell ye nay!
From Allah's self cometh this wondrous love:
Yea! And I swear by Him who sent me here,
He is more tender than a nursing dove,
"More pitiful to men than she to these.
Therefore fear God in whatsoe'er ye deal
With the dumb peoples of the wing and hoof."

Pearls of the Faith.


Verily there are rewards for our doing good to dumb animals, and giving them water to drink. A wicked woman was forgiven who, seeing a dog at a well holding out his tongue from thirst, which was near killing him, took off her boot, and tied it to the end of her garment, and drew water in it for the dog, and gave him to drink; and she was forgiven her sin for that act.

Table Talk of Mohammed.


It is recorded of the Prophet, that when, being on a journey, he alighted at any place, he did not say his prayers until he had unsaddled his camel.

Poole's Mohammed.


By these dumb mouths be ye forgiven,
Ere ye are heard pleading with heaven.

Pearls of the Faith.



Of all and every kind of sin which I have committed against the creatures of Ormazd, as stars, moon, sun, and the red-burning fire, the Dog, the Birds, the other good creatures which are the property of Ormazd, if I have become a sinner against any of these, I repent.

"If a man gives bad food to a shepherd Dog, of what sin is he guilty?"

Ahura Mazda4 answered:

"It is the same guilt as though he should serve bad food to a master of a house of the first rank."

"The dog, I, Ahura Mazda, have made self-clothed and self-shod, watchful, wakeful, and sharp-toothed, born to take his food from man and to watch over man's goods.

"I, Ahura Mazda, have made the dog strong of body against the evil-doer and watchful over your goods, when he is of sound mind."


He who, seeking his own happiness, does not punish or kill beings who also long for happiness, will find happiness after death.


Whoever in this world harms living beings, and in whom there is no compassion for living beings, let one know him as an outcast.

Sutta Nipata.


Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And, when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand forged thy dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did He smile his work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?
Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake.


Nobody doubts their general value, as nobody doubts the value of sunlight; but a more practical appreciation may be felt of their moneyed value if we look at that aspect of the question in some of its details.

We quote from a hand-book published for the South Kensington Museum:—

"CLASS I.—Animal Substances employed for Textile Manufactures and Clothing. Division I. Wool, Mohair, and Alpaca. Division II. Hair, Bristles, and Whalebone. Division III. Silk. Division IV. Furs. Division V. Feathers, Down, and Quills. Division VI. Gelatin, Skins, and Leathers.

"CLASS II.—Animal Substances used for Domestic and Ornamental Purposes. Division I. Bone and Ivory. Division II. Horns and Hoofs. Division III. Tortoise-shell. Division IV. Shells and Marines. Animal Products for Manufacture, Ornaments, etc. Division V. Animal Oils and Fats.

"CLASS III.—Pigments and Dyes yielded by Animals."—Division I. Cochineal and Kermes. Division II. Lac and its applications. Division III. Nutgalls, Gall Dyes, Blood, etc. Division IV. Sepia, Tyrian Purple, Purree, etc.

"CLASS IV.—Animal Substances used in Pharmacy and in Perfumery." Division I. Musk, Civet, Castorem, Hyraceum, and Ambergris. Division II. Cantharides, Leeches, etc.

"CLASS V.—Application of Waste Matters. Division I. Entrails and Bladders. Division II. Albumen, Casein, etc. Division III. Prussiates of Potash and Chemical Products of Bone, etc. Division IV. Animal Manures—Guano, Coprolites, Animal Carcases, Bones, Fish Manures, etc."

From a table of the value of imports of animal origin brought into the United Kingdom in the year 1875, we take a few items:—

"Live animals, £8,466,226. Wool of various kinds, £23,451,887. Silk, manufactures of all kinds, £12,264,532. Silk, raw and thrown, £3,546,456. Butter, £8,502,084. Cheese, £4,709,508. Eggs, £2,559,860. Bacon and hams, £6,982,470. Hair of various kinds, £1,483,984. Hides, wet and dry, £4,203,371. Hides, tanned or otherwise prepared, £2,814,042. Guano, £1,293,436. Fish, cured or salted, £1,048,546."

The value of the domestic stock in Great Britain and Channel Islands, in 1875, is stated to have been:—

"Horses, 1,349,691 at £16, £21,587,056. Cattle, 6,050,797 at £10, £60,507,970. Sheep, 29,243,790 at £1 10s., £43,865,685. Swine, 2,245,932 at £1 5s., £2,807,415. Total, £128,768,126."

"When we find," says the compiler of the statistics from which we have quoted, "that the figures give an estimated money value exceeding £331,000,000 sterling, and that to this has to be added all the dairy produce; the poultry and their products for Great Britain; the annual clip of British wool, which may be estimated at 160,000,000 lbs., worth at least £8,000,000; the hides and skins, tallow, horns, bones, and other offal, horse and cow hair, woollen rags collected, the game and rabbits, the sea and river fisheries; besides the products of our woollen, leather, glove, silk, soap, and comb manufactures retained for home consumption, furs, brushes, and many other articles, we ought to add a great many millions more to the aggregate value or total."

Simmonds: Animal Products, p. xix.


The first society formed under this name, or for this object, was the "Royal," of London, in 1825.

The first in America was that of New York, in 1866; that of Pennsylvania, in 1867; and that of Massachusetts, in 1868.

They all sprang from the same Christian root with the other great voluntary organizations for religious and moral purposes which distinguished the century just passed. All helped to widen the consciousness of the world, and to prepare the way for reformations not then thought of.

In this goodly company of voluntary societies, those for the Protection of Animals are entitled to an honorable place. It is not too much to say that any list would be incomplete without them.

But they have gone beyond Europe and America, and are spreading over the world. Among their devoted members are found the professors of many religions.

These "Voices," it is hoped, may impel their readers, wherever they may be, to help on, through such Societies, a long delayed work of justice to the humbler creatures of God. In many countries the young may find juvenile societies to promote the cause in schools and neighborhoods.

But whether inside or outside of organizations, the words of Mr. Longfellow suggest a universal duty,—

"Act, act in the living present,
Hearts within and God o'erhead."


Achilles, Horses of



Aix, Good News to



Among the Noblest

Ancient Mariner

Animals and Human Speech

Animals, Feeling for

Animals, Happiness

Animals, Innocent

Animals, Products

Animals, Suffering

Another's Sorrow


Argus and Ulysses


Asoka Inscriptions

Atri in Abruzzo


Baby, Human


Bay Billy


Bedouin's Rebuke

Bees, The


Beggar and Dog

Be Kind

Bess, Poor

ix, x, xi

Bird and Ship

Bird King

Bird, Lost

Bird of the Wilderness


Birds and Mohammed

Birds at Dawn

Bird's Evening Song

Birds In Spring

Birds Learning to Fly

Birds Let Loose

Bird's Ministry

Birds Must Know

Birds, Our Teachers

Birds Returning

Birds, Shadows of

Birthday Address

Birth of the Horse







36, 37

Butrago, Lord of



Can they Suffer?



Care for the Lowest


Child, Lydia Maria


Choir, Hymeneal

Choir, Invisible

Cid and Bavieca

Cock's Shrill Clarion







Cruelty, Effect of, on Man



Darwin, Charles



Dog "Blanco"

Dog "Don"

Dog "Flight"

Dogs, Dead

Dogs, Domestic

Dogs, Epitaph on

Dogs "Faithful"

Dog's Grave


Do with your Own

Do you Know?




Dumb Mouths


Duty and Fame

Dying in Harness



Egyptian Ritual



Emperor's Bird's-Nest


Erskine, Lord

Exulting Sings


Fame and Duty

Feathered Tribes

Feeling for Animals

Field Sparrow


Firmness and Faithfulness

Foray, The

Freedom to Beasts

Friend of every Friendless Beast


Future, The


Geist's Grave




Giant's Strength


God's Children

Good News to Aix

Good Samaritan

Good Will


Graves, Collins, Ride of

Grey Friars' Bobby

Growth of Humane Ideas


Happiness of Animals


Harness, Dying in

Harper, The

Heart Service


Hen and Honey Bee

Herbert, George

Herod, my Hound


Herons of Elmwood

Hiawatha's Brothers

Hill-Star's Nest


Honor and Revere

Horse. See


Horse, Birth of

Horse, Blood

Horse, Fallen

Horse of Achilles

Horse Waiting for Master

Horse, War


Howard, John

Hindoo Poem




Hundred Farms





In Holy Books





Irish Wolf-Hound


June Day


Killingworth, Birds of


Kindness to Aged Creatures

King of Denmark's Ride





Lark (Sky)

Lark (Wood)


Learn from the Creatures

Legend of Cross-Bill


Life is Glad

Lincoln, Robert of


Little Brown Bird

Little by Little

Living Swan

Llewellyn and Gelert

Looking for Pearls

Lord of Butrago





Man's Morality on Trial

Man's Rule

Man's Supremacy

Marriage Feast



Measureless Gulfs




Moral Lessons

Mother's Care

Mountain and Squirrel

Mouse, A Field



Natural Rights

Nature, Animated

Nature's Teachings


Newfoundland Dog




No Ceremony

No Grain of Sand


Not born for Death

Not Contempt

Nothing Alone


Old Mill

Old Spaniel

One Hundred Years Ago

Open Sky


Our Pets



Pain to Animals





Peepul Tree

Pegasus in Pound


Petrel, Stormy

Pets, Our






Poor Dog Tray


Pretty Birds




Quit the Nest


Returning Birds

Ride of Collins Graves

Ride of King of Denmark

Ride of Paul Revere

Ride of Sheridan

Ride of "The Colonel"

Ride to Aix

Rights Must Win

Rights, Natural

Ring Out




Room Enough


Sake of the Animals

Sand, No Grain of




Sea Shell


Shadows of Birds

Shaftesbury, Earl of



Shepherd's Home


Ship of Pearl



Six Feet


Societies for Protection of Animals




Sounds and Songs




Statue over the Cathedral Door

St. Francis

Stole the Eggs

Stole the Nest


Study of Animals

Suffer, Can they?






Tame Animals

Teeth of Dog


Te whit, te who

Texts. See



Tiger Moth



Trotwood, Betsy






Value of Animals to Man

Venice, Doves of

Village Sounds





Vogelweid, Walter von der

Waiting for Master



Way to Sing

Wedding Guest

Wedding, The Fairy

What the Birds Say


Who Stole the Bird's Eggs?

Who Stole the Bird's Nest?

Who Taught?

William of Orange



Wish, A



Wood Lark

Wood Pigeons

Workman of God


Worm Turns, The




Akenside, Mark

Alger's Oriental Poetry

Amicis, de E.

Andros, R. S.

Anonymous. See


Arnold, Edwin

Arnold, Matthew

Asoka, Emperor

Barbauld, Mrs.

Bates, Mrs. C. D.

Bentham, Jeremy

Berry, Mrs. C. F.

ix, x, xi

Blackie, Professor

Blake, William

Blanchard, Laman

Bostwick, Helen B.

Bremer, Frederika

Bright, John

Brine, Mary D.

Brooks, Rev. C. T.

Brougham, John

Browning, Mrs. E. B.

Browning, Robert

Bryant, W. C.

Buddhism. See

Burns, Robert

Butler, Bishop

Byron, Lord

Caird, Rev. Dr.


Campbell, Thomas

Carlyle, Mrs. Thomas

Carpenter, Rev. H. B.

Carpenter, Rev. J. E.

Chamber's Journal


Child's Book of Poetry

Cincinnati Humane Appeal

Clayton, Sir Robert

Clough, Arthur H.

Cobbe, Miss F. P.

Coleridge, Hartley

Coleridge, S. T.

Corbett, E. T.

Cornwall, Barry

Cowper, William

Craik, Mrs. Dinah M.

Cunningham, Allen

Cuvier, Baron

Davids, T. W. R.

Dickens, Charles

Dryden, John

Egyptian Ritual

Eliot, George

Emerson, R. W.

Faber, F. W.

Fields, James T.

Gassaway, F. H.

Gisborne, Thomas


Goldsmith, O.


H. H.

Hathaway, E.

Hedge, Rev. Dr. F. H.
Helps, Arthur

Hemans, Mrs.

Herbert, George


Hogg, James

Holland, J. G.

Holmes, O. W.


Howitt, Mary

Humane Journal

Hunt, Leigh

Hymns for Mothers

Ingelow, Jean

Jackson, Mrs. See
H. H.


Johnson, Laura W.

Keats, John

Keble, J.

Kingsley, Charles

Lamb, Charles and Mary

Langhorne, J.

Larcom, Lucy

Lathbury, Mary A.

Lawrence, Kate

Lewes, Mrs. See
George Elliot.

Lillie, Arthur

Lockhart, J. G.

Logan, John

Longfellow, H. W.

Lord, Miss Emily B.

Lowell, James R.

Lowell, Maria

Luther, Martin



MacCarthy, Denis F.

Mason, Caroline A.

Masque of Poets

McLeod, Norman

Mill, John Stuart

Milton, John


Moore, Thomas

Motley, J. L.

Müller, Max

Muloch. See
Mrs. Dinah M. Craik

Norton, Mrs. C. E.


O'Reilly, John Boyle

Paine, Miss Harriet E.


Perry, Carolina Coronado de

Pfeiffer, Emily


Poole, Stanley

Pope, Alexander

Preston, Margaret J.

Procter. See
Barry Cornwall.


Read, T. B.

Ruskin, John

Savage, Richard

Saxe, John G.


Scott, Walter

Scudder, Eliza

Shakespeare, W.

Shelley, P. B.

Shenstone, W.

Sheppard, Mary


Somerville, Mary

Southey, Robert

Spenser, W. R.

Stanley, A. P.
Sterling, John

Swing, David

Taylor, Bayard

Taylor, Emily

Taylor, Henry

Temple Bar

Tennyson, Alfred

Thaxter, Mrs. Celia

31, 32
43, 44

Verplanck, Julia C.

Walton, Izaak

Whittier, J. G.


Wither, George

Woolson, C. F.

Wordsworth, W.

Zend Avesta


Sunt lacrimæ rerum.


Not alone.


Koran, chap. vi.


Ahura Mazda or Ormazd is the King of Light; the Good. The Zend Avesta is of great but uncertain antiquity; believed to be three thousand years old.

* While this index entry does not appear to match the page, no single selection matched this either.