American Poetry in the Age of Whitman and Dickinson

Poems of Places 11

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From Poems of Places, vol. 1, England 1 (London: Macmillan and Co., 1877), edited by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

[Laken]

To A Bird That Haunted the Waters of Laken in the Winter

O melancholy bird, a winter’s day,
Thou standest by the margin of the pool;
And, taught by God, dost thy whole being school
To patience, which all evil can allay:
God has appointed thee the fish thy prey;
And given thyself a lesson to the fool
Unthrifty, to submit to moral rule,
And his unthinking course by thee to weigh.
There need not schools nor the professor’s chair,
Though these be good, true wisdom to impart:
He who has not enough for these to spare
Of time or gold may yet amend his heart,
And teach his soul by brooks and rivers fair:
Nature is always wise in every part.

— Lord Thurlow

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Written by Ben Friedlander

April 9, 2010 at 9:12 am

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