To the Mocking-bird
Winged mimic of the woods! Thou motley fool,
Who shall thy gay buffoonery describe?
Thine ever-ready notes of ridicule
Pursue thy fellows still with jest and gibe;
Wit, sophist, songster, Yorick of thy tribe,
Thou sportive satirist of Nature's school,
To thee the palm of scoffing we ascribe,
Arch mocker, and mad abbott of misrule!
For such thou art by day; but all night long
Thou pour'st a soft, sweet, solemn, pensive strain,
As if thou didst, in this thy moonlight song,
Like to the melancholy Jaques complain,
Musing on falsehood, violence, and wrong,
And sighing for thy motley coat again!
Richard Henry Wilde
(photo by Ryan Hagerty)