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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 Prairie Plover

By William Osborn Stoddard (1835–1925)

[Born in Homer, Cortland Co., N. Y., 1835. Died in Madison, N. J., 1925. From Verses of Many Days. 1875.]

THE DIM mists heavily the prairies cover,

And, through the gray,

The long-drawn, mournful whistle of the plover

Sounds, far away.

Slowly and faintly now the sun is rising,

Fog-blind and grim,

To find the chill world ’neath him sympathizing

Bluely with him.

Upon the tall grass where the deer are lying

His pale light falls,

While, wailing like some lost wind that is dying,

The plover calls.

Ever the same disconsolate whistle only,

No loftier strains;—

To me it simply means, “Alas, I’m lonely

Upon these plains.”

No wonder that these endless, dull dominions

Of roll and knoll

Cause him to pour forth thus, with poised pinions,

His weary soul.

Could I the secret of his note discover,—

Sad, dreary strain,—

I’d sit and whistle, all day, like the plover,

And mean the same.