I see it as it looked one afternoon In August,—by a fresh soft breeze o'erblown. The swiftness of the tide, the light thereon, A far-off sail, white as a crescent moon. The shining waters with pale currents strewn, The quiet fishing-smacks, the Eastern cove, The semi-circle of its dark, green grove. The luminous grasses, and the merry sun In the grave sky; the sparkle far and wide, Laughter of unseen children, cheerful chirp Of crickets, and low lisp of rippling tide, Light summer clouds fantastical as sleep Changing unnoted while I gazed thereon. All these fair sounds and sights I made my own.
Emma Lazarus - 1849-1887
Critic and Poet
An Apologue No man had ever heard a nightingale, When once a keen-eyed naturalist was stirred To study and define—what is a bird, To classify by rote and book, nor fail To mark its structure and to note the scale Whereon its song might possibly be heard. Thus far, no farther;—so he spake the word. When of a sudden,—hark, the nightingale! Oh deeper, higher than he could divine That all-unearthly, untaught strain! He saw The plain, brown warbler, unabashed. "Not mine" (He cried) "the error of this fatal flaw. No bird is this, it soars beyond my line, Were it a bird, 'twould answer to my law."