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not provoked to imitation by the voices by what he is capable of performing, of other birds and animals, he sometimes however unfrequently he may exercise pours forth his own wild notes with full his powers to the best advantage, the fervor. Yet I have often listened vainly Mocking-Bird is probably equalled only for hours to hear him utter anything but by two or three of our singing-birds. His a few idle repetitions of monotonous notes are loud, varied, melodious, and of sounds, interspersed with some ludicrous great compass. They may be compared varieties. Why he should neglect his to those of the Red Thrush, more rapidly own pleasing notes, to tease the listener delivered, and having more fute notes with his imitations of all imaginable dis- and fewer guttural notes and sudden cords, is not easily explained.
transitions. He also sings on the wing Though his imitations are the cause of and with fervor, like the Linnet, while his notoriety, they are not the utterances the other Thrushes sing only from their upon which his true merit is based. He perch. But his song has less variety than would be infinitely more valuable as a that of the Red Thrush, and falls sbort of songster, if he were incapable of imitating it in as many respects as it surpasses it. a single sound. I would add, that as an im- For the greater part of the time, the only itator of the songs of other birds he is very notes of the Mocking-Bird, when he is imperfect, and in this respect has been not engaged in mimicry, are a sort of greatly overrated by our ornithologists, melodious whistle, consisting of two notes who seem to vie with one another in their about a fourth apart, uttered in quick, exaggerations of his powers. He cannot but not rapid, succession, and hardly to utter the notes of the rapid singers; he is be distinguished from those of the Redsuccessful only in his imitations of those Bird of Virginia. birds whose notes are simple and moder- I heard the notes of the Mocking-Bird ately delivered. He is, indeed, more re- the first time in his native wilds, during markable for his indefatigable propensity railroad journey by night, through the than for his powers. Single sounds, from Pine Barrens of North Carolina, in the whatever source they may come, from month of June. The journey was very birds, quadrupeds, reptiles, or machines, tiresome and unpleasant, nothing being he gives very accurately; but I have seen, when looking out upon the landheard numbers of Mocking-Birds in con- scape, but a gloomy stretch of level forfinement attempt to imitate the Canary, est, consisting of tall pines, thinly scatand always without success. There is a tered, without any branches, except at common saying, that the Mocking-Bird their tops. The dusky forms of these will die of chagrin, if placed in a cage by trees, pictured against the half-luminous the side of a caged Bobolink, mortified sky, seemed like so many giant spectres because he cannot give utterance to his watching the progress of our journey, rapid notes. If this were the cause of and increased the loneliness of the hour. his death, he would also die when caged Before daylight, when the sky was faintin a room with a Canary, a Goldfinch, or ly crimsoned around the place where the any of the rapidly singing Finches. It is sun was to come forth, the train made a also an error to say of his imitations, as pause of half an hour, at one of the stathe generality of writers assert, that they tions, and the passengers alighted. While are improvements upon the originals. I was looking at the dreary prospect of When he utters the notes of the Red- desert, tired of my journey and longing Bird, the Golden Robin, or the Common for day, suddenly the notes of the MockRobin, he does not improve them; and ing-Bird came to my ear, and changed when he gives us the screaming of the all my gloomy feelings into delight. Jay or the mewing of the Cat, he does It is seldom I have felt so vividly the not change them into music.
power of one little incident to change As an original songster, judging him the tone of one's feelings and the humor
of the occasion. As a few drops of oil, sex County, and, though formerly selcast upon the surface of the waters, will dom seen, is becoming every year more quiet the troubled waves, so did the glad common. Like the Wood Thrush and voice of this merry bird suddenly dis- Scarlet Tanager, it is retiring in its habpel all those sombre feelings which had its, and is usually found in the most shelbeen fostered by dismal scenes and a tered part of the wood, where, perched lonely journey. Nature never seemed about midway on a tree, in fancied conso lovely as when the rising dawn, with cealment, it warbles its soft, clear, and its tearful beams and purple radiance, melodious notes." He thinks this bird was greeted by this warbling salutation, is not heard so frequently by night as as from some messenger of light, who by day, though it often sings in the light came to announce that Morning was soon
of the moon. to step forth from her throne, and extend In connection with this theme, we canover all things her smiles and her benefi- not help feeling a sense of regret, almost cence.
like melancholy, when we reflect that the Of the other American birds that sing true Nightingale and the Skylark, the in the night I can say nothing from my classical birds of European literature, own observation. The most important are strangers to our fields and woods. of these is the New York Thrush, (Tur. In May and June there is no want of dus aquaticus,) which is said to resemble sylvan minstrels to wake the morn and the River Nightingale of Europe. This to sing the vespers of a sweet summer bird, which is common in the Western evening. A flood of song wakes us at States, is said to sing melodiously night the earliest daylight; and the shy and and day. Wilson remarks of this species, solitary Veery, after the Vesper-Bird has “ They are eminently distinguished by concluded his evening hymn, pours his the loudness, sweetness, and expressive few pensive notes into the very bosom of vivacity of their notes, which begin very twilight, and makes the bour sacred by high and clear, falling with an almost im- his melody. But after twilight is sped, perceptible gradation, till they are scarce- and the moon rises to shed her meek raly articulated. At these times the musi- diance over the sleeping earth, the Nightcian is perched on the middle branches ingale is not here to greet her rising, and of a tree, over a brook or river-bank, to turn her melancholy beams into the pouring out his charming melody, that cheerfulness of daylight. And when the may be distinctly heard for nearly half Queen Moon is on her throne, a mile. The voice of this little bird ap
“ Clustered around by all her starry Fays," peared to me so exquisitely sweet and expressive, that I was never tired listen the Whippoorwill alone brings her the ing to it.” This description is exactly tribute of his monotonous song, and applicable to the song of the Veery, sup- soothes the dull car of Night with sounds posed to be silent by Wilson, who could which, however delightful, are not of not have fallen into such an error, except heaven. We have become so familiar by having confined his researches chiefly with the Lark and the Nightingale, by to the Middle and Southern States. the perusal of the romance of rural life,
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Loria that " neither breath of Morn, when she rosea) is said to be an excellent song. ascends” without the charm of this her ster, passing the greater part of the night earliest harbinger, * nor silent Night” in singing, and continuing vocal in con- without her " solemn bird," seems holy, finement. This bird is common in the as when we contemplate them in the Western States, but until lately has sel- works of pastoral song. Poetry has haldom been seen in New England. I learn, lowed to our minds the pleasing objects however, from Mr. Fowler, that "the of the Old World ; those of the New Rose-breasted Grosbeak is found in Es- have to be cherished in song yet many
more years, before they will be equally night and are strictly diurnal in all their sacred to our imaginations.
other habits has never been satisfactorily By some of our writers the Mocking- explained. It is natural that the WhipBird is put forward as equal in song to poorwill, which is a nocturnal bird, should the Nightingale. This assumption might sing during his hours of wakefulness and be worthy of consideration, if the Ameri- activity. There is also no difficulty in can biru were not a mimic. But his mock- explaining why Ducks and Geese, and ing habits almost annihilate his value as some other social birds, should utter their a songster, as the effect of a good con- loud alarm-notes, when they meet with cert would be spoiled, if the players were any midnight disturbance. These birds constantly introducing, in the midst of usually have a sentinel who keeps awake; their serious performances, snatches of and if he give an alarm, the others reply ridiculous tunes and uncouth sounds. I it. The crowing of the Cock bears have never heard the Nightingale ; but more analogy to the song of a bird, for if I may judge from descriptions of its it does not seem to be an alarm-note. song, and from the notes of those Cana- This domestic bird may be considered, ries which are said to give us perfect imi- therefore, a nocturnal songster, if his tations of it, we have no bird in America crowing can be called a song; though that equals this classical songster. The it is remarkable that we seldom hear it following description, by Pliny, which is during evening twilight. The Cock sings said to be superior to any other, may his matins, but not his vespers; he crows afford us some idea of the extent of its at the earliest dawn of day, and at midpowers : “ The Nightingale, that for night upon the rising of the moon, and fifteen days and nights, hid in the thick- whenever he is awakened by artificial est shades, continues her note without light. Many singing-birds are intermission, deserves our attention and tomed to prolong their notes after sunwonder. How surprising that so great set to a late hour, and become silent only a voice can reside in so small a body! to commence again at the earliest daySuch perseverance in so minute an ani- break. But the habit of singing in the mal! With what musical propriety are night is peculiar to a small number of the sounds it produces moclulated! The birds, and the cause of it forms a curious note at one time drawn out with a long subject of inquiry. breath, now stealing off into a different By what means are they enabled to cadence, now interrupted by a break, sustain such constant watchfulness, singthen changing into a new note by an ing and providing subsistence for their unexpected transition, now seeming to offspring during the day, and still conrenew the same strain, then deceiving tinuing wakeful and musical while it is expectation. She sometimes seems to night? Why do they take pleasure in murmur within herself; full, deep, sharp, singing, when no one will come in answer swift, drawling, trembling; now at the to their call? Have they their worship, top, the middle, and the bottom of the like religious beings, and are their midscale. In short, in that little bill seems night lays but the outpouring of the ferto reside all the melody which man has vency of their spirits ? Do they rejoice, vainly labored to bring from a variety of like the clouds, in the presence of the musical instruments. Some even seem to moon, hailing her beams as a pleasant be possessed of a different note from the relief from the darkness that has surrest, and contend with each other with rounded them? Or in the silence of great ardor. The bird, overcoine, is then night, are their songs but responses to seen to discontinue its song only with its the sounds of the trees, when they bow life.”
their heads and shake their rustling leaves The cause of the nocturnal singing of in the wind ? When they listen to the birds that do not go abroad during the streamlet, that makes audible melody only
in the hush of night, do they not answer to it from their leafy perch? And when
TO THE MOCKING-BIRD. the moth flies hummingly through the
CAROLL ING BIRD, that merrily, night and day, recesses of the wood, and the beetle
Tellest thy raptures from the rustling spray, sounds his horn, what are their notes And wakest the morning with thy varied lay, but cheerful responses to these sounds,
Singing thy matins,that break sweetly upon the quiet of their When we have come to hear thy sweet oblaslumbers?
Of love and joyance from thy sylvan station, Wilson remarks, that the hunters in
Why, in the place of musical cantation, the Southern States, when setting out
Balk us with pratings? on an excursion by night, as soon as they hear the Mocking-Bird sing, know We stroll by moonlight in the dusky forest, that the moon is rising. He quotes a
Where the tall cypress shields thee, fervent
chorist! writer who supposes that it may be fear
And sit in haunts of Echoes, when thou pourthat operates upon the birds when they perceive the Owls flitting among the trees,
Thy woodland solo. and that they sing, as a timid person whis- Hark! from the next green tree tay song comtles in a lonely place, to quiet their fears. But the musical notes of birds are never
Music and discord join to mock the senses, used by them to express their fears; they Repeated from the tree-tops and the fences,
From hill and hollow. are the language of love, sometimes animated by jealousy. It must be admitted A hundred voices mingle with thy clamor; that the moonlight awakes these birds, Bird, beast, and reptile take part in thy draand may be the most frequent exciting cause of their nocturnal singing ; but it is
Out-speak they all in turn without a stamnot true that they always wait for the
Brisk Polyglot! rising of the moon; and if this were the
Voices of Killdeer, Plover, Duck, and Dotterfact, the question may still be asked, why these few species alone should be thus af- Notes bubbling, hissing, mellow, sharp, and fected.
guttural; Since Philosophy can give no explana
Of Cat-Bird, Cat, or Cart-Wheel, thou canst
utter all, tion of this instinct, let Fancy come to
And all-untaught. her aid, and assist us in our dilemma,as when we bave vainly sought from The Raven's croak, the chirping of the SparReason an explanation of the mysteries of Religion, we humbly submit to the The scream of Jays, the creaking of Wheel
barrow, guidance of Faith. With Fancy for our
And hoot of Owls,— all join the soul to harinterpreter, we may suppose that Nature
row, has adapted the works of creation to our
And grate the ear. moral as well as our physical wants; and We listen to thy quaint soliloquizing, while she has instituted the night as a
As if all creatures thou wert catechizing, time for general rest, she has provided Tuning their voices, and their notes revising,
From far and near. means that shall soften the gloomy effects of darkness. The birds, which are the
Sweet bird! that surely lovest the noise of harbingers of all rural delights, are hence folly; made to sing during twilight; and when Most musical, but never melancholy; they cease, the nocturnal songsters be- Disturber of the hour that should be holy,
With sound prodigious! come vocal, bearing pleasant sensations
Fie on thee, O thou feathered Paganini! to the sleepless, and by their lulling melo
To use thy little pipes to squawk and whinny, dies preparing us to be keenly suscepti- And emulate the hinge and spinning-jenny, ble of all agreeable emotions.
Making night hideous !
Provoking melodist! why canst thou breathe Comes forth a sweeter and a holier strain!
Listening delighted, No thrilling harmony, no charming pathos, The gales breathe softly, as they bear along No cheerful song of love without its bathos ? The warbled treasure, the delicious throng The Furies take thee,
Of notes that swell accordant in the song, Blast thy obstreperous mirth, thy foolish chat
As love is plighted. ter,Gag thee, exhaust thy breath, and stop thy The Echoes, joyful from their vocal cell, clatter,
Leap with the winged sounds o'er hill and And change thee to a beast, thou senseless
dell, prater! —
With kindling fervor, as the chimes they tell Nought else can check thee!
To wakeful Even:
They melt upon the ear; they float away; A lengthened pause ensues:- but hark again! They rise, they sink, they hasten, they delay, From the new woodland, stealing o'er the And hold the listener with bewitching sway, plain,
Like sounds from heaven!
A TRIP TO CUBA.
ies, like European cloisters, where the HAVANA - THE JESUIT COLLEGE.
youth walk, study, and play. We were The gentlemen of our party go one
shown up-stairs, into a pleasant recepday to visit the Jesuit College in Havana, tion-room, where two priests soon waited yclept “Universidad de Belen.” The la
One of these, Padre Doyaguez, dies, weary of dry goods, manifest some seemed to be the decoy-duck of the estabdisposition to accompany them. This is lishment, and soon fastened upon one of at once frowned down by the unfairer our party, whose Protestant tone of counsex, and Can Grande, appealed to by the tenance had probably caught his attenother side, shakes his shoulders, and re- tion. Was she a Protestant ? Oh, no!plies, “ No, you are only miserable wom- not with that intelligent physiognomy! en, and cannot be admitted into any Jes- not with that talent! What was her uit establishment whatever.” And so name ? Julia (pronounced Hulia). Huthe male deputation departs with elation, lia was a Roman name, a Catholic name; and returns with airs of superior oppor- he had never heard of a Hulia who was tunity, and is more insufferable than ever a Protestant; - very strange, it seemed at dinner, and thereafter.
to him, that a Hulia could hold to such They of the feminine faction, on the unreasonable ideas. The other priest, other hand, consult with more direct au- Padre Lluc, meanwhile followed with thorities, and discover that the doors of sweet, quiet eyes, whose silent looks had Belen are in no wise closed to them, and more persuasion in them than all the that everything within those doors is quite innocent cajoleries of the elder man. at their disposition, saving and excepting Padre Doyaguez was a man eminentiy the sleeping-apartınents of the Jesuit fa- qualified to deal with the sex in general, thers, – to which, even in thought, they a coaxing voice, a pair of vivacious would on no account draw near. And eyes, whose cunning was not unpleasso they went and saw Belen, whereof ing, tireless good - humor and perseverone of them relates as follows.
ance, and a savor of sincerity. Padre The building is spacious, inclosing a Lluc was the sort of man that one recalls hollow square, and with numerous galler- in quiet moments with a throb of sympa.