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[460] waters. They had a morning, noon, and evening song; for the little frogs would send forth their gentle peep through hours of darkness; while great ones, at mid-day, would grumble out their hoarse password, and throw back their sentinel echoes round the shores of their Stygian pools.

There is a vast and unaccountable friendliness in birds. They would take to men as companions, if men would only let them. Our ancestors in Medford were in a district which naturally collected birds from ocean and forest, from upland and meadow. At their doors, they had the useful cock and hen, the brilliant mallard-duck, and the sentinel white goose. At early dawn, those notes of chanticleer — calling upon every sleeper to rise, and take a draught of undiluted morning air from the fountain of the day — those notes are so clear and powerful and strange that we should go a hundred miles to hear them, if the bird had never been domesticated. The inmates of the log-hut listen to this noble creature, speaking to them with the authority of a major-general on parade. They love this faithful bird, this once wild Indian pheasant; and they cherish him with the affection of a friend. And is he not truly a wonderful bird? Wherever he is, he has good health, strong lungs, and spirits like a young lover. All climates agree with him; and the poets of all times have sung his praises. Our fathers wisely guarded him and his family as a secret treasure.

And was there ennui in the log-hut on the banks of the Mystic? If so, the birds alone could have dissipated it. The oriole, the robin, and the thrush, the swallow, the humming-bird, and the wren, were enough to put all despondency to flight. How could they be sad, who saw the sandpipers coming in flocks, and heard the plovers whistling on the hill? How could they be sad, who could hear the blue-jay screaming in the thicket, or the kingfisher rattling by the river's side? What human heart could despond, when it witnessed the lark soaring towards heaven in his spiral flight, as if to carry his prayer of faith to the very throne of mercy?

In every bird, there is something to please and to instruct man. In those unbroken solitudes of Nature, our forefathers had the privilege of witnessing the marvellous contrasts exhibited by the feathered tribes. With what wonder must they have watched the wild-goose, of which it may almost be said, that he breaks his fast at Baffin's Bay, takes his lunch in Medford Pond, and plumes himself at nightfall in a southern

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