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Cherries

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UNDER the tree the farmer said,

Smiling and shaking his wise old head :
“Cherries are ripe! but then, you know,
There's the grass to cut and the corn to hoe;
We can gather the cherries any day,
But when the sun shines we must make our hay;
To-night, when the work has all been done,
We'll muster the boys, for fruit and fun.”

Up on the tree a robin said,
Perking and cocking his saucy head,
« Cherries are ripe ! and so to-day
We'll gather them while you make the hay;
For we are the boys with no corn to hoe,
No cows to milk, and no grass to mow.”
At night the farmer said : “Here's a trick !
These roguish robins have had their pick.”

F. E. Weatherley.

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In June,
He changes his tune;
In July,
He makes ready to fly;
In August,
Go he must.

Old Rhyme.

II. The Cuckoo's Voice

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IN N April the koo-coo can sing her note by rote,

In June of tune she cannot sing a note ;
At first koo-koo, koo-coo, sing shrill can she do;
At last, kooke, kooke, kooke, six cookes to one koo.

John Heywood.

III. The Cuckoo's Character

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THE
HE Cuckoo's a fine bird,

He sings as he flies;
He brings us good tidings,

He tells us no lies.

He sucks little birds' eggs,

To make his voice clear ; And when he sings “ Cuckoo !”

The summer is near.

Old Rhymne.

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Now,
TOW, of all the birds that keep the tree,

Which is the wittiest fowl ?
Oh, the Cuckoo—the Cuckoo's the one !—for he

Is wiser than the owl !

He dresses his wife in her Sunday's best,

And they never have rent to pay ;
For she folds her feathers in a neighbour's nest,

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;
For he gobbles the lawful children's bread,

And he starves them one by one!

So, of all the birds that keep the tree,

This is the wittiest fowl !
Oh, the Cuckoo—the Cuckoo's the one !—for he
Is wiser than the owl !

R. S. Hawker.

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(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.
What shall I call her ?
Martin.

Well, sir, what you please.
Child. Then write on her “The Eagle.”
Martin.

Bless the child !
Eagle! Why, you know nought of eagles, you.
When we lay off the coast, up Canada way,
And chanced to be ashore when twilight fell,
That was the place for eagles ; bald they were,
With eyes as yellow as gold.
Child.

O, Martin dear,
Tell me about them.
Martin.

Tell! there's nought to tell,
Only they snored o' nights and frighted us.

Child. Snored ?

Martin. Ay, I tell you, snored; they slept upright
In the great oaks by scores; as true as time,
If I'd had aught upon my mind just then,
I wouldn't have walked that wood for unknown gold;
It was most awful. When the moon was full,
I've seen them fish at night, in the middle watch,
When she got low. I've seen them plunge like stones,
And come up fighting with a fish as long,
Ay, longer than my arm; and they would sail-
When they had struck its life out—they would sail-

Over the deck, and show their fell, fierce eyes,
And croon for pleasure, hug the prey, and speed
Grand as a frigate on a wind.
Child.

My ship,
She must be called “The Eagle” after these.

Jean Ingelow.

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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.
Farewell, sweet singer ! dead in thy beauty,

Silent through summer, though other birds sing.
Bury him, comrades, in pitiful duty,
Muffle the dinner-bell, mournfully ring.

Mrs. Ewing:

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