Musing on falsehood, violence, and wrong,
And sighing for thy motley coat again.
Aside from this sonnet, the mockingbird has got into poetical
literature, so far as I know, in only one notable instance, and
that in the page of a poet where we would least expect to find
him,--a bard who habitually bends his ear only to the musical surge
and rhythmus of total nature, and is as little wont to turn aside
for any special beauties or points as the most austere of the
ancient masters. I refer to Walt Whitman's "Out of the cradle
endlessly rocking," in which the mockingbird plays a part. The
poet's treatment of the bird is entirely ideal and eminently
characteristic. That is to say, it is altogether poetical and not
at all ornithological; yet it contains a rendering or free
translation of a bird-song--the nocturne of the mockingbird, singing and calling through the night for its lost mate--that I consider quite unmatched in our literature:--
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