Puslapio vaizdai

point, which bristled not only with pins but with needles which had been temporarily left in it and which were nearly as sharp at the eye-ends as at the points.

Upon these Bob's poor claws came down with fury; he felt the wounds and saw the blood: both he attributed to the strokes of his enemy, and this aroused him to new rage. In order to give additional momentum to his onset he would retire toward the other side of the room and thence fly at the foe.

Again and again he charged; and as many times slid down the smooth surface of the mirror and wounded himself upon the perilous pincushion. As I entered, being first up from table, he was in the act of fluttering down against the glass.

The counterpane on the bed, the white dimity cover of the bureau, the pincushion, all bore the bloody resemblances of his feet in various places, and showed how many times he had sought distant points in order to give himself a running start. His heart was beating violently, and his feathers were ludicrously tousled.

And all against the mere shadow of himself! Never was there such a temptation for the head of a family to assemble his people and draw a prodigious moral. But better thoughts came; for, after all, was it not probable that the poor bird was defending-or at any rate believed he was defending-the rights and properties of his absent masters against a foe of unknown power?

All the circumstances go to show that he made the attack with a faithful valor as reverent as that which steadied the lance of Don Quixote against the windmills. In after days, when his cage has been placed among the boughs of the trees, he has not shown any warlike feelings against the robins and sparrows, but only a friendly interest.



Merrily swinging on brier 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 dressed,

Wearing a bright black wedding coat;
White are his shoulders and white his crest,
Hear him call in 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.

Robert of Lincoln's Quaker wife,

Pretty and quiet, with plain brown wings, Passing at home a patient life,

Broods in the grass while her husband sings: Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;

Brood, kind creature; you need not fear

Thieves and robbers while I am here.

Chee, chee, chee.

Modest and shy as a nun is she;

One weak chirp is her only note. Braggart and prince of braggarts is he, Pouring boasts from his little throat: Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink ;

Never was I afraid of man;

Catch me, cowardly knaves, if you can!
Chee, chee, chee.

Six white eggs on a bed of hay,
Flecked with purple, a pretty sight!

There as the mother sits all day,

Robert is singing with all his might:

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;

Nice good wife that never goes out,
Keeping house while I frolic about.

Chee, chee, chee.

Soon as the little ones chip the shell,
Six wide mouths are open for food;
Robert of Lincoln bestirs him well,
Gathering seeds for the hungry brood.
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;

This new life is likely to be

Hard for a gay young fellow like me.
Chee, chee, chee.

Robert of Lincoln at length is made
Sober with work, and silent with care;

Off is his holiday garment laid,

Half forgotten that merry air,

Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;

Nobody knows but my mate and I

Where our nest and our nestlings lie.

Chee, chee, chee.

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:
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;

When you can pipe that merry old strain,

Robert of Lincoln, come back again.

Chee, chee, chee.



Now is the high-tide of the year,

And whatever of life hath ebbed away Comes flooding back with a ripply cheer,

Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;
Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it;
We are happy now because God wills it;

No matter how barren the past may have been,
'Tis enough for us now that the leaves are green;
We sit in the warm shade and feel right well
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;
We may shut our eyes, but we cannot help knowing
That skies are clear and grass is growing;

The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
That dandelions are blossoming near,

That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing, That the river is bluer than the sky,

That the robin is plastering his house hard by;
And if the breeze kept the good news back,

For other couriers we should not lack;

We could guess it all by yon heifer's lowing, — And hark! how clear bold chanticleer,

Warmed with the new life of the year,

Tells all in his lusty crowing!

[From the "Vision of Sir Launfal."]


« AnkstesnisTęsti »