Wood Notes Wild: Notations of Bird Music

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Lee and Shepard, 1892 - 261 pages
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Page 223 - That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over, Lest you should think he never could recapture The first fine careless rapture!
Page 182 - Nightingale, another of my airy creatures, breathes such sweet loud music out of her little instrumental throat, that it might make mankind to think miracles are not ceased. He that at midnight, when the very labourer sleeps securely, should hear, as I have very often, the clear airs, the sweet descants, the natural rising and falling, the doubling and redoubling of her voice, might well be lifted above earth, and say, " Lord, what music hast thou provided for the Saints in Heaven, when thou affordest...
Page 27 - As fits a feathered lord of land ; Flew near, with soft wing grazed my hand, Hopped on the bough, then, darting low, Prints his small impress on the snow, Shows feats of his gymnastic play Head downward, clinging to the spray. Here was this atom in full breath, Hurling defiance at vast death...
Page iii - Do you ne'er think what wondrous beings these? Do you ne'er think who made them, and who taught The dialect they speak, where melodies Alone are the interpreters of thought? Whose household words are songs in many keys, Sweeter than instrument of man e'er caught! Whose habitations in the tree-tops even Are half-way houses on the road to heaven!
Page 128 - Mr. Bates, in speaking of the European field-cricket (one of the Achetidae), says, " the male has been observed to place itself '•' in the evening at the entrance of its burrow, and " stridulate until a female approaches, when the louder " notes are succeeded by a more subdued tone, whilst " the successful musician caresses with his antennae
Page 186 - Some musical boy must be gathering fruits in the thickets, and is singing a few notes to cheer himself. The tones become more fluty and plaintive ; they are now those of a flageolet, and, notwithstanding the utter impossibility of the thing, one is for the moment convinced that some one is playing that instrument.
Page 174 - ... to which they will adhere. I educated a young robin under a very fine nightingale ; which, however, began already to be out of song, and was perfectly mute in less than a fortnight. This robin afterwards sung three parts in four nightingale ; and the rest of his song was what the bird-catchers call rubbish, or no particular note whatsoever.
Page 65 - T was now a sorrow in the air, Some nymph's immortalized despair Haunting the woods and waterfalls ; And now, at long, sad intervals, Sitting unseen in dusky shade, His plaintive pipe some fairy played, With long-drawn cadence thin and clear, — "Pe-wee! pe-wee! peer!" Long-drawn and clear its closes were, — As if the hand of Music through The sombre robe of Silence drew A thread of golden gossamer: • So pure a flute the fairy blew. Like beggared princes of the wood, In silver rags the birches...
Page 164 - O clear up, clear up!" interspersed with the finest trills and the most delicate preludes. It is not a proud, gorgeous strain, like the tanager's or the grosbeak's; suggests no passion or emotion, — nothing personal, — but seems to be the voice of that calm, sweet solemnity one attains to in his best moments. It realizes a peace and a deep, solemn joy that only the finest souls may know.
Page 154 - Modulation and fine shades of " color," as the musical critic has it, together with melodious phrasing, take the place of rhythm. The meadow-lark, in its mellow fluting, comes very near to a measure of two rhythmic beats, and the mourning dove puts a throbbing cadence into its plaint ; but the accent which the human ear demands is wholly wanting in each case. On the other hand, the mocking-bird, the cat-bird, and the brown thrush accentuate their songs, but not rhythmically ; indeed, the cat-bird's...

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