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UNDER the tree the farmer said,
Smiling and shaking his wise old head :
Up on the tree a robin said,
F. E. Weatherley.
II. The Cuckoo's Voice
IN N April the koo-coo can sing her note by rote,
In June of tune she cannot sing a note ;
III. The Cuckoo's Character
He sings as he flies;
He tells us no lies.
He sucks little birds' eggs,
To make his voice clear ; And when he sings “ Cuckoo !”
The summer is near.
Which is the wittiest fowl ?
Is wiser than the owl !
He dresses his wife in her Sunday's best,
And they never have rent to pay ;
And thither she goes to lay!
He winked with his eye, and he buttoned his purse,
When the breeding time began; For he'd put his children out to nurse
In the house of another man !
Then his child, though born in a stranger's bed,
Is his own true father's son;
And he starves them one by one!
So, of all the birds that keep the tree,
This is the wittiest fowl !
R. S. Hawker.
(From Introduction to Songs of the Voices of Birds) MARTIN, the Boatman.
Look you now, This vessel's off the stocks, a tidy craft. Child. A schooner, Martin ? Martin.
No, boy, no; a brig, Only she's schooner-rigged—a lovely craft.
Child. Is she for me? O, thank you, Martin dear.
Well, sir, what you please.
Bless the child !
O, Martin dear,
Tell! there's nought to tell,
Child. Snored ?
Martin. Ay, I tell you, snored; they slept upright
Over the deck, and show their fell, fierce eyes,
The Burial of the Linnet
FOUND in the garden dead in his beauty—
Oh that a linnet should die in the spring ! Bury him, comrades, in pitiful duty,
Muffle the dinner-bell, solemnly ring.
Bury him kindly, up in the corner ;
Bird, beast, and goldfish are sepulchred there. Bid the black kitten march as chief mourner,
Waving her tail like a plume in the air.
Bury him nobly-next to the donkey;
Fetch the old banner, and wave it about ; Bury him deeply—think of the monkey,
Shallow his grave, and the dogs get him out. Bury him softly-white wool around him,
Kiss his poor feathers—the first kiss and last; Tell his poor widow kind friends have found him :
Plant his poor grave with whatever grows fast.
Silent through summer, though other birds sing.