A History of British Birds, Volume 1

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Edw. Walker, 1826 - Birds - 432 pages
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User Review  - DanCook - LibraryThing

Utterly beautiful - Bewick was a chap with real talent for anatomical wood-engraving. The best bit is all the social commentary and warnings against ill-living you get thrown in for free in the ... Read full review

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Page 292 - This guest of summer, The temple-haunting. martlet, does approve, By his lov'd mansionry, that the heaven's breath Smells wooingly here : no jutty, frieze, Buttress, nor coigne of vantage, but this bird Hath made his pendent bed, and procreant cradle : Where they most breed and haunt, I have observ'd, The air is delicate.
Page 89 - tis, to cast one's eyes so low! The crows and choughs, that wing the midway air, Show scarce so gross as beetles : Half way down Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade! Methinks, he seems no bigger than his head: The fishermen, that walk upon the beach, Appear like mice; and yon...
Page 230 - But, first and chiefest, with thee bring Him that yon soars on golden wing, Guiding the fiery-wheeled throne, The Cherub Contemplation ; And the mute Silence hist along, 'Less Philomel will deign a song, In her sweetest saddest plight, Smoothing the rugged brow of Night, While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke Gently o'er the accustomed oak. 60 Sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of folly, Most musical, most melancholy...
Page xxi - tis nought But restless hurry through the busy air, Beat by unnumber'd wings. The swallow sweeps The slimy pool, to build his hanging house Intent. And often, from the careless back Of herds and flocks, a thousand tugging bills Pluck hair and wool...
Page xxi - Of hazel, pendent o'er the plaintive stream, They frame the first foundation of their domes; Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid, And bound with clay together. Now 'tis nought But restless hurry through the busy air, Beat by unnumber'd wings.
Page 235 - Wisely regardful of the embroiling sky, In joyless fields and thorny thickets leaves His shivering mates, and pays to trusted man His annual visit. Half afraid, he first Against the window beats ; then brisk alights On the warm hearth ; then hopping o'er the floor, Eyes all the smiling family askance, And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is ; Till more familiar grown, the table-crumbs Attract his slender feet.
Page xxi - Nestling repair, and to the thicket some ; Some to the rude protection of the thorn Commit their feeble offspring...
Page xx - Amusive birds ! say where your hid retreat, When the frost rages and the tempests beat ? Whence your return, by such nice instinct led, When Spring, soft season, lifts her bloomy head? Such baffled searches mock man's prying pride, The God of Nature is your secret guide!
Page 212 - Lo, here the gentle lark, weary of rest, From his moist cabinet mounts up on high, And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast The sun ariseth in his majesty; Who doth the world so gloriously behold, That cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold.
Page 113 - Pour'd out profusely, silent : join'd to these Innumerous songsters, in the freshening shade Of new-sprung leaves, their modulations mix Mellifluous. The jay, the rook, the daw, And each harsh pipe, discordant heard alone, Aid the full concert ; while the stockdove breathes A melancholy murmur through the whole.

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