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The broad, extended boughs still please him best;
Her partner's mellow song, the brook, the brecze;
Two weeks elapsed, behold! a helpless crew
11. The finches, which are the smallest of the perchers, are, for the most part, excellent songsters. In this numerous family are found the weaver birds, celebrated for their curious hive-shaped nests, the buntings, and snowbirds, the latter visiting us in winter only from the frozen regions of the north, the indigo-bird, the hawfinch, groundfinch, our common Canary bird, and the American yellow-bird, known also as the thistle-finch or goldfinch.
"I love to see the little goldfinch pluck
The seed from thistle's tuft, and twit, and twit;
I would not hold him prisoner for the world."
12. In the same group is found the English chaffinch, which has been described
"As brisk, as merry, and as loved a bird
As any in the fields and woodlands heard."
Here are also found the cross-bills, the linnets, and many others that are often called sparrows, among which are the song. sparrow and the well-known chipping-bird. In this goodly company we also place the English skylark:
"Shrill-voiced and lond, the messenger of morn,
"Type of the wise, who soar, but never roam;
13. The horn-bills and plantain-eaters are mostly birds of
large size, confined to Africa, India, and the adjacent islands. Among the plantain-eaters are several species of the touracos, which have great brilliancy of plumage, elegance of form, and grace of motion. It has been said of the violet plantaineater, that "while other birds are pretty, handsome, splendid, gorgeous, beautiful, the coloring of the plantain-eater is truly regal." The engraved picture of this bird, without its color ing, conveys a very inadequate' idea of its beauty.
1 TEN-ANTS, inhabitants.
2 Cox'-00MB, a fop; a vain, showy fellow. 3 LO-QUÃO'-I-TY, talkativeness.
4 VO-RA'-CIOUS, greedy for eating; hungry.
15 E-LAPS'ED, passed by. ..
6 AS-SID'-U-OUS, attentive; careful.
THE SNOWBIRD (Fringilla Hyemalis).
1. THE well-known snowbird is one of our visitants from the frozen regions of the north, coming even from beyond the arctic circle, and spreading over the United States in small flocks at the beginning of winter. At first they hover around the borders of woods; but as the weather sets in colder, they approach the farm-houses and villages in diligent search of food.
2. Their increased activity on such occasions is generally a sure prognostic1 of a storm. On the first indications of spring many of them set out on their return to the north, while others first visit high ranges of mountains, where they build their nests and rear their young previous to their departure. The plumage of the snowbird undergoes2 considerable changes. The snow-bunting is a bird somewhat similar to this, but has more pointed wings. The following lines to the snowbird contain both poetic and moral beauty:
3. "Oh! what will become of thee, poor little bird?
The muttering storm in the distance is heard;
The rough winds are waking, the clouds growing black,
From what sunny clime hast thou wandered away?
"I'm picking the gum from the old peach-tree;
"But what makes thee seem so unconscious of care?
That took off the summer leaves. Chee, dee, dee.'
5. "But man feels a burden of care and of grief,
While plucking the cluster and binding the sheaf.
"A very small portion sufficient will be,
"I thank thee, bright monitor; what thou hast taught
7. "But soon there'll be ice weighing down the light bough, On which thou art flitting so playfully now;
And though there's a vesture' well fitted and warm,
"I can draw them right up in my feathers, you see,
1 PROG-NOS'-TIC, a sign by which a future 6 MON'-I-TOR, one who warns of faults or inevent may be known. forms of duties.
2 UN-DER-GOES', passes through.
7 THEME, subject.
3 SCREEN, that which shelters from danger. 8 ŎR'-A-CLE, a wise saying of great author.
9 VEST'-URE, garment.
4 BUR'-DEN, load; weight.
5 Voin, want; longing.
1. "OF all our sparrows, the song-sparrow, or melodious finch, is the most numerous, the most generally diffused over the United States, and by far the earliest, sweetest, and most lasting songster. It is the first singing bird of spring, taking pre
cedence1 even of the bluebird, and it often remains until the depth of winter. The notes or chant of its song are short, but very sweet, resembling the beginning of the canary's song. It usually builds its nest on the ground, under a tuft of grass. As far south as Louisiana it rears three broods in one season; and, unlike most other birds, it builds a new nest for each."-WILSON. It is usually found in company with the chipping-bird, and birds of that class. It seems to represent, in America, the house-sparrow of Europe, but is less bold and crafty than the latter bird. The following tribute to the song-sparrow is full of sentiment and beauty:
THE SONG-SPARROW (Fringilla Melodia).
"Joy fills the vale;
With joy ecstatic2 quivers every wing,
Awakens at thy song, and peers from out
"While from the rock
The columbine its crimson bell suspends,
"Say! when the blast
Of winter swept our whitened plains-what clime,
What sunnier realms thou charmedst, and how was past
"Did the green isles
Detain thee long? or, 'mid the palmy groves
"Oh, well I know
Why thou art here thus soon, and why the bowers
"Thou art returned
On a glad errand-to rebuild thy nest,
"And thy wild strain,
Poured on the gale, is love's transporting voice-
"Nor calls alone
To enjoy, but bids improve the fleeting hour-
"The poet, too,
It soft invokes to touch the trembling wire ;10
"But thy sweet lay,
Thou darling of the spring! no ear disdains;
"Oh, if I knew
Like thee to sing-like thee the heart to fire--
"Oft as the year
In gloom is wrapped, thy exile I shall mourn-
1 PRE-CED'-ENCE, the act or state of being| first.
2 EC-STAT'-1¤, delightful beyond measure.
3 GE-NI-AL, enlivening; cheerful.
4 PEERS, peeps forth.
5 VI'-BRATES, moves to and fro.
6 ZEPH'-YR, a soft mild breeze.
8 CHOIR (kwire), singers.
9 IN-VOKE', call upon.
10 WIRE, here used for stringed instrument of music.
11 STRAINS, Songs.
12 LYRE, a kind of harp.