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John Clare

(13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864 / Northamptonshire / England)

Birds In Alarm


The firetail tells the boys when nests are nigh
And tweets and flies from every passer-bye.
The yellowhammer never makes a noise
But flies in silence from the noisy boys;
The boys will come and take them every day,
And still she lays as none were ta'en away.

The nightingale keeps tweeting-churring round
But leaves in silence when the nest is found.
The pewit hollos 'chewrit' as she flies
And flops about the shepherd where he lies;
But when her nest is found she stops her song
And cocks [her] coppled crown and runs along.
Wrens cock their tails and chitter loud and play,
And robins hollo 'tut' and fly away.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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