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O BLACKBIRD! sing me something well :
While all the neighbours shoot thee round,
I keep smooth plats of fruitful ground, Where thou may'st warble, eat and dwell.
The espaliers and the standards all
Are thine ; the range of lawn and park :
The unnetted black-hearts ripen dark, All thine, against the garden wall.
Yet, though I spared thee kith and kin,
Thy sole delight is, sitting still,
With that gold dagger of thy bill To fret the summer jennetin.
A golden bill! the silver tongue,
Cold February loved, is dry :
Plenty corrupts the melody That made thee famous once, when young.
I better brook the drawling stares,
Now thy flute-notes are changed to coarse
Not hearing thee at all, or hoarse As when a hawker hawks his wares.
Take warning ! he that will not sing
Shall sing for want, ere leaves are new,
DEATH OF THE OLD YEAR.
Full knee-deep lies the winter snow,
Old year, you must not die ;
He lieth still : he doth not move :
Old year, you must not go ;
He froth'd his bumpers to the brim ;
Old year, you shall not die ;
He was full of joke and jest,
Every one for his own.
How hard he breathes! over the snow
Shake hands, before you die.