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Further observation and experience have given me a different idea of this feathered voluptuary, which I will venture to impart for the benefit of my young readers, who may regard him with the same unqualified envy and admiration which I once indulged. I have shown him only as I saw him at first, in what I may call the poetical part of his career, when he, in a manner, devoted himself to elegant pursuits and enjoyments, and was a bird of music, and song, and taste, and sensibility, and refinement. While this lasted he was sacred from injury. The very schoolboy would not fling a stone at him, and would pause to listen to his strain.

But mark the difference. As the year advances, as the clover-blossoms disappear, and the spring fades into summer, he gradually gives up his elegant tastes and habits, doffs his poetical suit of black, assumes a russet, dusty garb, and sinks to the gross enjoyment of common, vulgar birds. His notes no longer vibrate on the ear; he is stuffing himself with the seeds of the tall weeds on which he lately swung and chanted so melodiously. He has become a bon vivant, a gourmand: with him now there is nothing like the "joys of the table." In a little while he grows tired of plain, homely fare, and is off on a gastronomic tour in quest of foreign luxuries.

We next hear of him, with myriads of his kind, banqueting among the reeds of the Delaware, and

grown corpulent with good feeding. He has changed his name in travelling. Boblincoln no more, he is the reed-bird now, the much-sought-for tidbit of Pennsylvanian epicures, the rival in unlucky fame of the ortolan! Wherever he goes, pop! pop! pop! every rusty fire-lock in the country is blazing away. He sees his companions falling by thousands around him. Does he take warning and reform? Alas! not he. Again he wings his flight. The rice-swamps of the south invite him. He gorges himself among them almost to bursting; he can scarcely fly for corpulency. He has once more changed his name, and is now the famous rice-bird of the Carolinas. Last stage of his career: behold him spitted, with dozens of his corpulent companions, and served up, a vaunted dish, on some southern table.

Such is the story of the bobolink; once spiritual, musical, admired, the joy of the meadows, and the favorite bird of spring; finally, a gross little sensualist, who expiates his sensuality in the larder. His story contains a moral worthy the attention of all little birds and little boys; warning them to keep to those refined and intellectual pursuits which raised him to such a pitch of popularity during the early part of his career, but to eschew all tendency to that gross and dissipated indulgence which brought this mistaken little bird to an untimely end. -FROM IRVING'S "BIRDS OF SPRING."


Whither 'midst falling dew,

While glow the heavens with the last steps of day, Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue Thy solitary way?

Vainly the fowler's eye

Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.

Seek'st thou the plashy brink

Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
Or where the rocky billows rise and sink
On the chafed ocean side?

There is a Power whose care

Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,
The desert and illimitable air,

Lone wandering, but not lost.

All day thy wings have fanned,

At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere,
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
Though the dark night is near.

And soon that toil shall end.

Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,

And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend, Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest.

Thou'rt gone; the abyss of heaven

Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart,
Deeply has sunk the lesson thou hast given,
And shall not soon depart.

He, who, from zone to zone,

Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone,
Will lead my steps aright.



I know the song that the bluebird is singing,
Out in the apple-tree where he is swinging:
Brave little fellow! the skies may be dreary:
Nothing cares he while his heart is so cheery.

Hark! how the music leaps out from his throat-
Hark! was there ever so merry a note?
Listen awhile, and you'll hear what he's saying,
Up in the apple-tree, swinging and swaying:

"Dear little blossoms, down under the snow,
You must be weary of winter, I know ;
Hark, while I sing you a message of cheer-
Summer is coming! and spring-time is here!

"Little white snowdrop! I pray you, arise; Bright yellow crocus! come, open your eyes; Sweet little violets, hid from the cold,

Put on your mantles of purple and gold; Daffodils! daffodils! say, do you hear?— Summer is coming! and spring-time is here!"



Gay, guiltless pair,

What seek ye from the fields of heaven?

Ye have no need of


Ye have no sins to be forgiven.

Why perch ye here,

Where mortals to their Maker bend?

Can your pure spirits fear

The God ye never could offend?

Ye never knew

The crimes for which we come to weep:

Penance is not for you,

Blessed wanderers of the upper deep.

To you 'tis given

To wake sweet Nature's untaught lays;
Beneath the arch of heaven

To chirp away a life of praise.

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