Fern-owl, Churn-owl, or Goat-sucker,
Night-jar, Dor-hawk, or whate’er
Be thy name among a dozen, –
Whip-poor-Will’s and Who-are-you’s cousin,
Chuck-Will’s-widow’s near relation,
Thou art at thy night vocation,
Thrilling the still evening air!
In the dark brown wood beyond us,
Where the night lies dusk and deep;
Where the fox his burrow maketh,
Where the tawny owl awaketh
Nightly from his day-long sleep;
There Dor-hawk is thy abiding,
Meadow green is not for thee;
While the aspen branches shiver,
’Mid the roaring of the river,
Comes thy chirring voice to me.
Bringing thoughts of dusk and shadow;
Trees huge-branched in ceaseless change;
Pallid night-moths, spectre-seeming;
All a silent land of dreaming,
Indistinct and large and strange.
The humming-bird, the humming-bird,
So fairy-like and bright,
It lives among the sunny flow’rs,
A creature of delight;
In radiant islands of the East,
Where fragrant spices grow,
A thousand thousand humming-birds
Go glancing to and fro.
Like living fires they flit about
Scarce larger than a bee,
Among the broad palmetto leaves,
And through the fan palm-tree.
And in the wild and verdant woods
Where lofty moras tower;
Where hangs from branching tree to tree
The stately passion-flow’r.
Thou happy happy humming-bird,
No storms around thee low’r;
Thou never saw’st a leafless tree,
Nor land without a flow’r.
A reign of summer joyfulness
To thee for life is given;
Thy food the honey from the flow’r,
Thy drink the dew from heaven.