If an innocent birdWhat restless spirit is in this creature, that, while so shy in its own personal habits, it yet watches every visitor with a Paul-Pry curiosity, follows him in the woods, peers out among the underbrush, scratches upon the leaves with a pretty pretence of important business there, and presently, when disregarded, ascends some small tree and begins to carol its monotonous song, as if there were no such thing as man in the universe? There is something irregular and fantastic in the coloring, also, of the Chewink: unlike the generality of ground-birds, it is a showy thing, with black, white, and bay intermingled, and it is one of the most unmistakable of all our feathery creatures, in its aspect and its ways. Another of my favorites, perhaps from our sympathy as to localities, since we meet freely every summer at a favorite lake, is the King-Bird, or Tyrant-Flycatcher. The habits of royalty or tyranny I have never been able to perceive,—only a democratic habit of resistance to tyrants; but this bird always impresses me as a perfectly well-dressed and well-mannered person, who amid a very talkative society prefers to listen, and shows his character by action only. So long as he sits silently on some stake or bush in the neighborhood of his family circle, you notice only his glossy black cap and the white feathers in his handsome tail: but let a Hawk or a Crow come near, and you find that he is
Before my heedless footsteps stirred and stirred
In little journeys.
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