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Poem Title:  Jackdaw

Poem Category:  Nature Poems

Poet:  William Cowper

Poet Biography: 
William Cowper (1731-1800)



Poem: 
There is a bird, who by his coat, And by the hoarseness of his note, Might be supposed a crow; A great frequenter of the church, Where bishop-like he finds a perch, and dormitory too. Above the steeple shines a plate, That turns and turns, to indicate From what point blows the weather; Look up - your brains begin to swim, 'Tis in the clouds - that pleases him, He chooses it the rather. Fond of the speculative height, Thither he wings his airy flight, and thence securely sees the bustle and the raree-show, That occupy mankind below, Secure and at his ease. You think, no doubt, he sits and muses on future broken bones and bruises, if he should chance to fall. No: not a single thought like that Employs his philosophic pate, or troubles it at all. He sees that this great roundabout, The world, with all its medley rout, Church, army, physic, law, Its customs, and its businesses Is no concern at all of his, And says - what says he? - "Caw." Thrice happy bird! I too have seen Much of the vanities of men; and, sick of having seen 'em, would cheerfully these limbs resign For such a pair of wings as thine, And such a head between 'em.

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