Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1275. The Lonely-Bird
 
In the Adirondacks
 
By Harrison Smith Morris
 
 
O DAPPLED throat of white! Shy, hidden bird!
  Perched in green dimness of the dewy wood,
  And murmuring, in that lonely, lover mood,
    Thy heart-ache, softly heard,
Sweetened by distance, over land and lake.        5
 
Why, like a kinsman, do I feel thy voice
  Awaken voices in me free and sweet?
  Was there some far ancestral birdhood fleet
    That rose and would rejoice:
A broken cycle rounded in a song?        10
 
The lake, like steady wine in a deep cup,
  Lay crystal in the curving mountain deeps;
  And now the air brought that long lyric up
    That sobs, then falls and weeps,
And hushes silence into listening hope.        15
 
Is it that we were sprung of one old kin,
  Children of brooding earth, that lets us tell,
  Thou from thy rhythmic throat, I deep within,
    These syllables of her spell,
This hymnëd wisdom of her pondering years?        20
 
For thou hast spoken song-wise in a tongue
  I knew not till I heard the buried air
  Burst from the boughs and bring me what thou sung,
    Here where the lake lies bare
To reaching summits and the azure sky.        25
 
Thy music is a language of the trees,
  The brown soil, and the never-trodden brake;
  Translatress art thou of dumb mysteries
    That dream through wood and lake;
And I, in thee, have uttered what I am!        30
 

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