With bits of grass and peels of oaten straw,
To whistle like the birds. The thrush would start
To hear her song, and pause, and fly away;
The blackbird never cared, but sang again;
The nightingale's fine song I could not try;
And when the thrush would mock her song, she paused,
And sang another song no bird could do!
She sang when all were done, and beat them all.
I've often sat and mocked them half the day,
Behind the hedge-row, thorn, or bullace tree:
I thought how nobly I could act in crowds.
The woods and fields were all the books I knew,
And every leisure thought was Love and Fame.