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tall bush or half-grown tree, in the dawn of dewy morning, while tha woods are already vocal with a multitude of warblers, his admirable song rises preëminent over every competitor. The ear can listen to his music alone, to which that of all the others seems a mere accompaniment. Neither is this strain altogether imitative. His own native notes, which are easily distinguishable by such as are well acquainted with those of our various birds of song, are bold and full, and varied, seemingly, beyond all limits. They consist of short expressions of two, three, or, at the most, five or six syllables, generally interspersed with imitations, and all of them uttered with great emphasis and rapidity, and continued, with undiminished ardor, for half an hour or an hour at a time; his expanded wings and tail glistening with white, and the buoyant gayety of his action arresting the eye, as his song most irresistibly does the ear.
He sweeps round with enthusiastic ecstasy; he mounts and descends, as his song swells or dies away; and, as my friend Mr. Bartram has beautifully expressed it, “he bounds aloft with the celerity of an arrow, as if to recover or recall his very soul, which expired in the last elevated strain.” While thus exerting himself, a bystander, destitute of sight, would suppose that the whole feathered tribes had assembled together on a trial of skill, each striving to produce its utmost effect so perfect are his imitations. He many times deceives the sportsman, and sends him in search of birds that perhaps are not within miles of him, but whose notes he exactly imitates. Even birds themselves are frequently imposed on by this admirable mimic, and are decoyed by the fancied calls of their mates, or dive, with precipitation, into the depths of thickets, at the scream of what they suppose to be the spar. row hawk. The mocking bird loses little of the power and energy
of his song by confinement. In his domesticated state, when he commences his career of song, it is impossible to stand by uninterested. He whistles for the dog: Cæsar starts up, wags his tail, and rur.s to meet his master. He squeaks out like a hurt chicken ; and the hen hurries about, with hanging wings
l and bristled feathers, clucking to protect her injured brood. The barking of the dog, the mewing of the cat, the creaking of a passing wheelbarrow, follow with great truth and rapidity. He repeats the tune taught him by his master, though of considerable length, fully and faithfully. He runs over the quiv. erings of the canary, and the clear whistlings of the Virginia nightingale or redbird, with such superior execution and effect, that the mortified songsters feel their own inferiority, and become altogether silent, while he seems to triumph in. their defeat by redoubling his exertions.
This excessive fondness for variety, however, in the opinion of some, injures his song. His elevated imitations of the brown thrush are frequently interrupted by the crowing of cocks; and the warblings of the bluebird, which he exquisitely manages, are mingled with the screaming of swallows, or the cackling of hens; amidst the simple melody of the robin, we are suddenly surprised by the shrill reiterations of the whippoor-will; while the notes of the killdeer, bluejay, martin, baltimore, and twenty others, succeed, with such imposing reality, that we look round for the originals, and discover, with astonishment, that the sole performer, in this singularconcert, is the admirable bird now before us. During this exhibition of his powers, he spreads his wings, expands his tail, and throws himself around the cage in all the ecstasy of enthusiasm, seeming not only to sing, but to dance, keeping time to the measure of his own music. Both in his native and domesticated state, during the .solemn stillness of the night, as soon as the moon rises in silent majesty, he begins his delightful solo, and serenades us the livelong night with a full display of his vocal powers, making the whole neighborhood ring with his inimitable melody,
IV. - THE BELFRY PIGEON.
N. P. WILLIS.
[MR. WILLIB is a living American writer in prose and verse. He is a graduate of Yale College, of the class of 1827. His prose writings, which now fill many volumes, comprise travels, tales, essays, sketches of life and manners, and descriptions of natural scenery. His style is airy and graceful; his perception of beauty is keen and discriminating; and his descriptive powers are of a high order. Few men can present a visible scene, a landscape, or a natural object more distinctly to the eye. His poetry has the same general characteristics. It is sweet, flowing, and musical, and, in its best specimens, marked by truth of sentiment and delicacy of feeling. He has been for many years one of the editors of the Home Journal, a weekly newspaper published in New York, and has resided upon the Hudson River; and the fine sketches of the scenery in his neighborhood which have from time to time appeared in his paper have thrown a new interest over that noble river, which is already graced with so many historical and literary associations.
Mr. Willis of late years has written less poetry than could be wished by those who remember and admire th
tness of so many of his early productions.]
grace and sw
On the cross beam under the Old South bell
Whatever is rung on that noisy bell,
When the clock strikes clear at morning light
Sweet bird! I would that I could be
V. - THE BIRD CATCHER AND HIS CANARY.
[This touching narrative is taken from a work called Gleanings through Wales, Holland, and Westphalia, published in London in 1795, by SAMUEL JACKSON PRATT. The author was a voluminous writer in prose and verse, and at one time enjoyed considerable popularity. His works are now forgotten, though portions of them deserve to be remembered. He was born in 1749, and died in 1814.]
In the town of Cleves an English gentleman was residing with a Prussian family during the time of the fair, which we shall pass over, having nothing remarkable to distinguish it from other annual meetings where people assemble to stare at, cheat each other, and divert themselves, and to spend the year's savings in buying those bargains which would have been probably better bought at home. One day after dinner, as the dessert was just brought on the table, the travelling German musicians, who commonly ply the houses at these times, presented themselves, and were suffered to play ; and just as they were making their bows for the money they received for their harmony, a bird catcher, who had rendered himself famous for educating and calling forth the talents of the feathered race, made his appearance and was well received by the party, which was numerous and benevolent.
The musicians, who had heard of this bird catcher's fame, asked permission to stay; and the master of the house, who had a great share of good nature, indulged their curiosity - a curiosity, indeed, in which every one participated; for all that we have heard or seen of learned pigs, asses, dogs, and horses, was said to be extinguished in the wonderful wisdom which blazed in the genius of this bird catcher's canary.
The canary was produced, and the owner harangued him in the following manner, placing him upon his fore finger: "Bijou,jewel,- you are now in the presence of persons of
great sagacity and honor; take heed you do not deceive the expectations they have conceived of you from the world's report. You have won laurels ; beware then of erring. In a