The Landrail

by Landsborough

How sweet and pleasant grows the way
Through summer time again
While Landrails call from day to day
Amid the grass and grain
We hear it in the weeding time
When knee deep waves the corn
We hear it in the summers prime
Through meadows night and morn
And now I hear it in the grass
That grows as sweet again
And let a minutes notice pass
And now tis in the grain
Tis like a fancy everywhere
A sort of living doubt
We know tis something but it neer
Will blab the secret out
If heard in close or meadow plots
It flies if we pursue
But follows if we notice not
The close and meadow through
Boys know the note of many a bird
In their birdnesting bounds
But when the landrails noise is heard
They wonder at the sounds
They look in every tuft of grass
Thats in their rambles met
They peep in every bush they pass
And none the wiser get
And still they hear the craiking sound
And still they wonder why
It surely cant be under ground
Nor is it in the sky
And yet tis heard in every vale
An undiscovered song
And makes a pleasant wonder tale
For all the summer long
The shepherd whistles through his hands
And starts with many a whoop
His busy dog across the lands
In hopes to fright it up
Tis still a minutes length or more
Till dogs are off and gone
Then sings and louder than before
But keeps the secret on
Yet accident will often meet
The nest within its way
And weeders when they weed the wheat
Discover where they lay
And mowers on the meadow lea
Chance on their noisy guest
And wonder what the bird can be
That lays without a nest
In simple holes that birds will rake
When dusting on the ground
They drop their eggs of curious make
Deep blotched and nearly round
A mystery still to men and boys
Who know not where they lay
And guess it but a summer noise
Among the meadow hay

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