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beautiful and feeling picture of the swallows just prior to their autumnal flight :—

And as the swallows crowd the bulrush beds
Of some clear river, issuing from a lake,
On autumn days, before they cross the sea,
And to each bulrush crest a swallow hangs
Quivering, and others skim the river-streams,

And their quick twittering fills the banks and shores-
So around Hermod swarmed the twittering ghosts.

He knows a swallow from a swift, as we see from his epithet "black-winged" in the line

Where black-winged swallows haunt the glittering Thames.
Compare with his swallow-picture this other, of
birds killed in crossing high mountain regions:-
But as a troop of pedlars from Cabool
Cross underneath the Indian Caucasus,

That vast sky-neighbouring mountain of milk-snow;
Crossing so high that, as they mount, they pass
Long flocks of travelling birds dead on the snow,
Choked by the air, and scarce can they themselves
Slake their parch'd throats with sugar'd mulberries.

Or this, of migrating cranes crossing from the
Steppes to Persia :—

As when some grey November morn the files,
In marching order spread, of long-neck'd cranes
Stream over Casbin and the southern slopes
Of Elburz, from the Arabian estuaries,

Or some frore Caspian reed bed, southward bound
For the warm Persian seaboard.

We have already quoted his reference to the fieldfare (or, as he calls it, the fell-fare) and its feeding on the red holly berries. His description of the grouse is accurate :

The red grouse springing at our sound,

Skims now and then the shining ground.

So of the hawk swooping on a partridge

As on some partridge in the corn a hawk
That long has tower'd in the airy clouds
Drops like a plummet.

Take, too, that beautiful and pathetic simile of the eagle, portrayed with such minuteness and sympathetic tenderness in Sohrab and Rustum :—

As when some hunter in the spring hath found

A breeding eagle sitting on her nest

Upon the craggy isle of a hill-lake,

And pierced her with an arrow as she rose,
And follow'd her to find her where she fell
Far off; anon her mate comes winging back
From hunting, and a great way off descries
His huddling young left sole; at that he checks
His pinion, and with short uneasy sweeps
Circles above his eyry, with loud screams
Chiding his mate back to her nest; but she
Lies dying, with the arrow in her side,
In some far stony gorge out of his ken,
A heap of fluttering feathers ;- -never more
Shall the lake glass her, flying over it;
Never the black and dripping precipices
Echo her stormy scream as she sails by.

The same sympathetic note is struck in that other tragic simile which concludes Balder Dead :

And as a stork which idle boys have trapped,
And tied him in a yard, at autumn sees
Flocks of his kind pass flying o'er his head
To warmer lands and coasts that keep the sun,
He strains to join their flight, and from his shed
Follows them with a long complaining cry—

So Hermod gazed and yearn'd to join his kin.

It is a common belief that M. Arnold was too cold and austere as a poet, and that he kept too firm a hold on his feelings; there are occasions on which this may be true, but these two feelingly-worded pictures show what depth of sympathy he had for bird life, and all who are familiar with Poor Matthias his tribute to a canary which his little daughter bought from a French bird-dealer in the town of Hastings, and which sang for the Arnold household for eight years will recognise the warmth of feeling which lurked in that sensitive soul. In this poem he deplores the gulf that yawns between bird and man, and descants on our inability to enter into the feelings of a mere bird.

Poor Matthias! couldst thou speak,
What a tale of thy last week!

Every morning did we pay

Stupid salutations gay,

Suited well to health, but how
Mocking, how incongruous now!
Cake we offer'd, sugar, seed,
Never doubtful of thy need ;
Praised perhaps thy courteous eye,
Praised thy golden livery.

Gravely thou the while, poor dear!
Sat'st upon thy perch to hear,
Fixing with a mute regard

Us, thy human keepers hard,
Troubling with our chatter vain

Ebb of life and mortal pain.

It is in this poem that the poet dwells upon the wonderful instincts in birds, and how much we have to learn from them.

Proof they give

Of a prescience more than ours—
Teach us, while they come and go,
When to sail and when to sow.

Cuckoo calling from the hill,
Swallow skimming by the mill,
Swallows trooping in the sedge,
Starlings swishing from the hedge,
Mark the seasons, map our year,
As they show and disappear.
But with all this travail sage,
Brought from that anterior age,
Goes an unreversed decree
Whereby strange are they and we,
Making want of theirs and plan
Indiscernible by man.

Equally touching is his sweet poem on Geist, the Dachshund, the pet of the family for four years.

Yes; only four! and not the course

Of all the centuries yet to come

Can ever quite repeat the past

Or just thy little self restore.

How lovingly Arnold dwells on this little dog's affectionate, winning ways, his liquid eyes, his broad brown paws, the flaps of his large ears, his keen intelligence, and how sincerely he mourns the loss of a real friend as he lays his canine companion in the stone-marked grave!

That liquid, melancholy eye,

From whose pathetic, soul-fed springs
Seem'd surging the Virgilian cry,

The sense of tears in mortal things.

We stroke thy broad brown paws again,
We bid thee to thy vacant chair,
We greet thee by the window pane,
We hear thy scuffle on the stair.

We see the flaps of thy large ears

Quick raised to ask which way we go ;

Crossing the frozen lake appears

Thy small dark figure on the snow!

We lay thee, close within our reach,

Here, where the grass is smooth and warm,

Between the holly and the beech,

Where oft we watch'd thy couchant form

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