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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Mocking Bird

By Sidney Lanier (1842–1881)

SUPERB and sole, upon a plumèd spray

That o’er the general leafage boldly grew,

He summ’d the woods in song; or typic drew

The watch of hungry hawks, the lone dismay

Of languid doves when long their lovers stray,

And all birds’ passion-plays that sprinkle dew

At morn in brake or bosky avenue.

Whate’er birds did or dreamed, this bird could say.

Then down he shot, bounced airily along

The sward, twitched in a grasshopper, made song

Midflight, perched, prinked, and to his art again.

Sweet Science, this large riddle read me plain:

How may the death of that dull insect be

The life of yon trim Shakspeare on the tree?