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[48] The bird that trod the mellow layers
     Of the young earth is sought in vain;
The cloud is gone that wove the sandstone,
     From God's design, with threads of rain!

So, when this fluid age we live in
     Shall stiffen round my careless rhyme,
Who made the vagrant tracks may puzzle
     The savants of the coming time;

And, following out their dim suggestions,
     Some idly-curious hand may draw
My doubtful portraiture, as Cuvier
     Drew fish and bird from fin and claw.

And maidens in the far-off twilights,
     Singing my words to breeze and stream,
Shall wonder if the old-time Mary
     Were real, or the rhymer's dream!

1st 3d mo., 1857.

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