Puslapio vaizdai

3. At this well known call the male partly opens his broad wings, inclines his body a little downward, and answers to her voice in tones not unlike the laugh of a maniac. The next moment he resumes his erect attitude, and again all around is silent. Ducks of many species are seen passing with great rapidity, and following the course of the current; but the eagle heeds them not: they are at that time beneath his attention.

4. The next moment, however, the wild trumpet-like sound of a yet distant but approaching swan is heard. A shriek from the female eagle comes across the stream, for she is fully as alert3 as her mate. The latter suddenly shakes the whole of his body, and with a few touches of his bill arranges his plumage. The snow-white swan is now in sight; her long neck is stretched forward; her eye is on the watch, vigilant as that of her enemy; her large wings seem with difficulty to support the weight of her body, although they flap incessantly. She approaches, however. The eagle has marked her for his prey. As the swan is passing the dreaded pair, the male bird, with an awful scream, starts from his perch in full preparation for the chase.

5. Now is the moment to witness a display of the eagle's powers. He glides through the air like a falling star, and, like a flash of lightning, comes upon the timorous quarry,⭑ which now, in agony and despair, seeks, by various manœuvres, to elude the grasp of his cruel talons. It mounts, doubles, and willingly would plunge into the stream, were it not prevented by the eagle, which, knowing that the swan would thus escape him, forces it to remain in the air

to strike it with his talons from beneath. oy attempting


6. The hope of escape is soon given up by the swan. has already become much weakened, and its strength fails at the sight of the courage and swiftness of its antagonist. Its last gasp is about to escape, when the ferocious eagle strikes with his talons the under side of its wing, and, with unresisted power, forces the bird to fall in a slanting direction upon the land. There his mate joins him, when the royal pair turn the breast of the luckless swan upward, and gorge themselves with gore.

7. The eagle has great partiality for fish, and, in pursuing them, as he is not a fisher himself, he displays, in a very singular manner, the genius and energy of his character. Elevated on the high dead limb of some gigantic tree that commands a view of the neighboring shore and ocean, he seems calmly to contemplate the motions of the various feathered tribes that pursue their busy avocations below-the snowwhite gulls, slowly winnowing the air; trains of ducks streaming over the surface; silent and watchful cranes, intent and wading; clamorous crows, and all the winged multitudes that subsist by the bounty of this vast liquid magazine of Nature.

8. High over all these hovers one whose action instantly arrests his whole attention. By his wide curvature of wing and sudden suspension in air, the eagle knows him to be the osprey, or fish-hawk, settling over some devoted victim of the deep. His eye kindles at the sight, and, balancing himself, with half-opened wings, he watches the result. Down, rapid as an arrow from heaven, descends the distant object of his attention, the roar of its wings reaching the ear as it disappears in the deep, making the surges foam around.

9. At this moment the eager looks of the eagle are all ardor; and, leveling his neck for flight, he sees the fish-hawk emerge, struggling with his prey, and mounting in the air with screams of exultation. These are the signal for our hero, who, launching into the air, instantly gives chase, and soon gains on the fish-hawk; each exerts his utmost to mount above the other, displaying in these manœuvres the most elegant and sublime aerial' evolutions.8

10. The unencumbered eagle rapidly advances, and is just on the point of reaching his opponent, when, with a sudden scream, probably of despair and execration, the latter drops his fish; the eagle, poising himself for a moment, as if to take a more certain aim, descends like a whirlwind, snatches it in his grasp ere it reaches the water, and bears his ill-gotten booty silently away to the woods. AUDUBON AND WILSON.

1 EM-BLA'-ZONED, adorned with figures; set 5 Av-0-€Ã'-TION, business; employment. out pompously.

2 EX-PANSE', extent of space.
3 A-LERT', watchful; vigilant.

4 QUR'-RY, the game.

6 IN-TENT', ardent; eager.

7A-E-RI-AL, pertaining to the air; lofty.

8 EV-O-LU'-TIONS, movements.

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1. Soon as the sun, great ruler of the year,
Bends to our northern climes his bright career,
And from the caves of ocean calls from sleep
The finny shoals1 and myriads2 of the deep;
When freezing tempests back to Greenland ride,
And day and night the equal hours divide;
True to the season, o'er our sea-beat shore,
The sailing osprey high is seen to soar,
With broad, unmoving wing. Now, circling slow,
He marks3 each straggler4 in the deep below;
Sweeps down like lightning! plunges with a roar!
And bears his struggling victim to the shore.


2. Most awful is thy deep and heavy boom,5 Gray watcher of the waters! Thou art king

Of the blue lake; and all the winged kind
Do fear the echo of thine angry cry.

How bright thy savage eye! Thou lookest down,
And seest the shining fishes as they glide;
And, poising thy gray wing, thy glossy beak
Swift as an arrow strikes its roving prey.
Ofttimes I see thee, through the curling mist,
Dart, like a spectre' of the night, and hear
Thy strange, bewitching call, like the wild scream
Of one whose life is perishing in the sea.

SHOAL, a crowd; a throng.

2 MYR'-L-AD, an immense number. 3 MÄRKS, sees; notices.

4 STRAG'-GLER, a wanderer.


15 BOOм, a hollow roar as of waves.
6 POIS'-ING, balancing.

7 SPEC'-TRE, a ghost; the appearance of a
dead person.

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1. BIRD of the heavens! whose matchless eye
Alone can front the blaze of day,

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And, wandering through the radiant1 sky,

Ne'er from the sunlight turns away;


Whose ample wing was made to rise
Majestic o'er the loftiest peak,
On whose chill tops the winter skies,
Around thy nest, in tempests speak-

2. What ranger of the winds can dare,
Proud mountain king! with thee compare?
Or lift his gaudier2 plumes on high
Before thy native majesty,

When thou hast taken thy seat alone,
Upon thy cloud-encircled throne?

3. Bird of the sun! to thee to thee
The earliest tints of dawn are known,
And 'tis thy proud delight to see

The monarch mount his gorgeous throne;
Throwing the crimson drapery by,
That half impedes his glorious way;
And mounting up the radiant sky,
E'en what he is the king of day!

4. Bird of Columbia! well art thou
An emblem of our native land;
With unblenched3 front and noble brow,
Among the nations doomed to stand,
Proud, like her mighty mountain woods;
Like her own rivers, wandering free;
And sending forth, from hills and floods,
The joyous shout of liberty!

5. Like thee, majestic bird! like thee
She stands in unbought majesty,

With spreading wings, untired and strong,
That dares a soaring far and long,

That mounts aloft, nor looks below,
And will not quail though tempests blow.

1 RA'-DI-ANT, beaming with brightness. 2 GAU-DI-ER, more showy.


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13 UN-BLENCHED', unstained; unshrinking QUAIL, shrink back.

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