Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
 
VI. Animate Nature
The Heath-Cock
Joanna Baillie (1762–1851)
 
GOOD morrow to thy sable beak
And glossy plumage dark and sleek,
Thy crimson moon and azure eye,
Cock of the heath, so wildly shy:
I see thee slyly cowering through        5
That wiry web of silvery dew,
That twinkles in the morning air,
Like casements of my lady fair.
 
A maid there is in yonder tower,
Who, peeping from her early bower,        10
Half shows, like thee, her simple wile,
Her braided hair and morning smile.
The rarest things, with wayward will,
Beneath the covert hide them still;
The rarest things to break of day        15
Look shortly forth, and shrink away.
 
A fleeting moment of delight
I sunned me in her cheering sight;
As short, I ween, the time will be
That I shall parley hold with thee.        20
Through Snowdon’s mist red beams the day,
The climbing herd-boy chants his lay,
The gnat-flies dance their sunny ring,—
Thou art already on the wing.
 
 
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