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Thoughts Upon Hearing the Skylark


What notes! what blissful notes were those I heard!
Ascending—still ascending—sweetest bird?
Mysterious songster! Long I watched thy flight,
Higher and higher thro’ the realms of light,
Till I could gaze no more; but that sweet song
That thrilled so joyously will haunt me long.
What didst thou see? Ah! whither didst thou go,
So free from every care and every woe?
That rising from the earth with rapturous might
Thou sendest forth such tones of deep delight?

Beautiful bird! for ever upward soaring
With thy rich song, like poet’s soul outpouring;—
Tho’ the far ether takes thee from my reach,
Methinks it is within thy power to teach
How the pure soul may rise on wings of love—
Ascend thro’ empty space and soar above;
How joyously the tones of rapture rise
From one who holds communion with the skies.
What bliss! what freedom that bright spirit knows,
How far removed from earthly cares and woes!
Like thee, bright creature of the earth and air,
May we, exalted, seek for joys more fair
Than earth can give; and as we near the sky,
Send forth such tones of heavenly minstrelsy.

R. E. S.