AMONG THE BIRDS.
To GILBERT WHITE.
TnE streams that bear your Selborne rains, One north, one south, to diverse seas, The hollow water-fretted lanes, The sloping Hanger's graceful trees, That climb the hill you loved to praise, The quiet street, the church, the yew, Shew'd scarcely altered since the days When your true pen their picture drew.
O'er house and garden, field and wood, The pale September sunlight fell : Peace, peace was everywhere, and good It seemed amid such peace to dwell.
The martins in the sunshine wheel'd, The woodpecker with laughter shrill Gave notice where he hung conceal'd Among the beeches on your hill.
We listened, look'd, but might not stay, Hot travellers of a hurrying age : You spent your life here, we a day, You read the book, we skimmed a page.
The note of every summer bird, The winter wild-fowl's "figured flight," The drumming snipe, in spring-time heard, Woke in your heart a still delight.
Along the South Downs as you rode So fresh a spirit went with you, So glad to praise, the chalk-hills shew'd " Majestic mountains " to your view.
Not skill alone of ear and eye _ Was yours, but something more—a heart That found in Nature a reply, A mirror, and a counterpart.
Rich were you with a little store, And all your days in peace you spent, Wise with a very simple lore, Wise with a very simple lore, And in a narrow room content. H. J.