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Hush! make no sound, nor move your fingertips--
A sprite, the Ariel of birds, is near!
The airy whisper of his wings o'er the lips
Of my red columbine. His long bill dips
Into the waxen chalice where the clear,
Rich nectar lies. He trembles--is it fear,
Or mad delight, that thrills him as he slips
From bloom to bloom, exacting honey-toil?
Sometimes unto my fancy, it appears
That this small vagrant, sensitive and coy,
Embodies a departed poet-soul,
To whom life brought--but bitterness and tears;
And death--a bird's delirium of joy!