Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
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Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
 
The Mocking Bird
By Sidney Lanier (1842–1881)
 
SUPERB and sole, upon a plumèd spray
That o’er the general leafage boldly grew,
He summ’d the woods in song; or typic drew
The watch of hungry hawks, the lone dismay
Of languid doves when long their lovers stray,        5
And all birds’ passion-plays that sprinkle dew
At morn in brake or bosky avenue.
Whate’er birds did or dreamed, this bird could say.
Then down he shot, bounced airily along
The sward, twitched in a grasshopper, made song        10
Midflight, perched, prinked, and to his art again.
Sweet Science, this large riddle read me plain:
How may the death of that dull insect be
The life of yon trim Shakspere on the tree?
 
 
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