Florida: Essays and Poems


The Mockingbird

by Sidney Lanier
Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1891
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Ward, W.H. (Ed.). (1891). The Poetry of Sidney Lanier.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.2
  • Word Count: 118
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: florida, nature
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Superb and sole, upon a plumed spray
That o’er the general leafage boldly grew,
He summ’d the woods in song; or typic drew
The watch of hungry hawks, the lone dismay
Of languid doves when long their lovers stray,
And all birds’ passion-plays that sprinkle dew
At morn in brake or bosky avenue.
Whate’er birds did or dreamed, this bird could say.
Then down he shot, bounced airily along
The sward, twitched in a grasshopper, made song
Midflight, perched, prinked, and to his art again.
Sweet Science, this large riddle read me plain:
How may the death of that dull insect be
The life of yon trim Shakespeare on the tree?