A Green Heron

Maurice Thompson

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Where a bright creek into the river's side
Shoots its keen arrow, a green heron sits
Watching the sunfish as it gleaming flits
From sheen to shade. He sees the turtle glide
Through the clear spaces of the rhythmic stream
Like some weird fancy through a poet's dream;
He turns his golden eyes from side to side,
In very gladness that he is not dead,
While the swift wind-stream ripples overhead
And the creek's wavelets babble underneath!

O bird! that in a cheerful gloom dost live,
Thou art, to me, a type of happy death;
For when thou fliest away no mate will grieve
Because a lone, strange spirit vanisheth!

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