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14 Our Dumb Animals 1 (1881-1882)

handle is hein.journals/animals14 and id is 1 raw text is: 


                                          I  would   not   enter  on  my   list of  friends,
                                          Though graced with polished manners and fine sense,
                                          Yet wanting sensibility, the man
                                          TVho needlessly sets foot upon a worm. - Cowper.

Vol. 14.                                            BOSTON, JUNE, 1881.                                                                  No. 1.

      Emerald-plum~d, ruby-throated,
      Flashing like a fairy 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 brighest 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 clemitis 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 tub~d 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!
      Shinest 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 thy jewel-change incessant,
 When the sun is streaming o'er thee!
 Hear  the soft humming,
 Like  a sylph's drumming!

        Pinions so airy-light,
        Waving in fairy flight,
      Rich as a butterfly, swift as a bee:
         Floating so airily,
         Flitting so fairily,
      Flashing so starrily over the lea!
        Nigher and nigher float,
        Wheeling  and hovering,
        Gay  little rover-king,
    Coming and going on thy wings lyrical;
    Glancing and glowing, beautiful Fire-throat!
         Summer's sweet loverling,
           Bright little miracle!
                               -The Californian.
                The Spring Birds.
   We  never know the precise time the birds leave
 us in the fall; they do not go suddenly; their de-
 parture is like that of an army of occupation in no
 hurry to be off; they keep going and going, and
 we hardly know  when  the last straggler is gone.
 Not so their return in the spring; then it is like
 an army  of invasion, and we know  the very day
 when the first scouts appear. It is a memorable
 event. Indeed, it is always a surprise to me, and
 one of  the compensations  of  our  abrupt and
 changeable climate, this suddenness with which
 the bjrds come  in spring, in fact, with which
 Spring itself comes, alighting, may be, to tarry
 only a day or two, but real and genuine, for all
 that. When  March  arrives, we do not know what
 a day may bring forth. It is like turning over a
 leaf, a new chapter of startling incidents lying
 just on the other side. A few days ago, winter
 had not preceptibly relaxed his hold; then sudden-
 ly he began to soften a little, and a warm haze to
 creep up from the south, but not a solitary bird,
 save the winter residents, was to be seen or heard.
 Next day  the  sun seemed  to have  drawn  im-
 mensely nearer; his beams  were full of power;
 and we said, Behold, the first spring morning!
 And, as if to make the prophecy complete, there
 is the note of a bluebird, and it is not yet nine
 o'clock. Then  others, and  still others, were
 heard. How  did they know  it was going to be a
 suitable day for them to put in an appearance ?
 It seemed as  if they must  have been  waiting
 somewhere  close by for the first warm day, like
 actors behind the scenes,-the moment the curtain
 was lifted, they were ready and rushed upon the
 stage. The third warm  day, and behold, all the
principal performers  come  rushing  in.  Song-
sparrows, cow-blackbirds, grackles, the meadow-

lark, cedar-birds, the phcabe-bird, and hark! what
bird-laughter  was  that? the robins, hurrah! the
robins!   Not two or three, but a score or two of
them;   they are following the river valley north,
and  they stop in the trees from time to time, and
give vent  to their gladness. It is like a summer
picnic of school children suddenly let loose in a
wood;   they sing, shout, whistle, squeal, call, etc.,
in  the most blithesome strains. The warm  wave
has  brought  the  birds upon its crest; or some
barrier has given  away, the levee of winter has
broken,  and  spring comes  like an inundation.-
John  Burroughs, in Pepacton.
               Tho Flight of Birds.
   The oceanic petrels have reduced the science
 of flight to the condition of a fine art. The flight
 of the albatross has always excited wonder and
 admiration; nevertheless, some  of the  smaller
 petrels fly quite as well. There are almost all
 gradations to be observed in the powers of flight
 of different birds, in the various stages of perfee-
 tion in the shaping of the wings, and the skill of
 the use of them shown by the birds. Refinement
 in the art of the use of the wings by birds seems
 to run in two different directions. The flight of
 the albatross, regarded as the perfection of one
 mode, the soaring method,  performed  by aid of
 great length of wing, may be contrasted with that
 of the humming-bird, equally perfect in its way
 and far more rapid, but performed by the use of
 short wings and excessively rapid motion of them.
   The movement   of the albatross may be com-
 pared to that of a skilful skater on the outside
 edge; the humming-bird's  flight is just like that
 of an insect. The albatross ekes out to the ut-
 most the momentum   derived from a few powerful
 strokes, and uses it up slowly in gliding, making
 all possible use at the same time of the force of
 the wind.-Notes by a Naturalist on the  Chal-
  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 com-
mon  allegiance to the Father  and  Ruler of all
mankind.-Max Muller,   Buddhist  Pilgrims.

  CERTXINLY   he who prevents, does more than he
who  cures.-Philip Astley.


         f   IV I S P7 A S P E   A K

                                                 4 1 & -t l

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