Thursday, January 12, 2012

Birds and Blossoms

(Please join Suzanne at Colorado Lady blog for more Vintage Thingie Thursday fun!)

Happy Vintage Thingie Thursday!

A lot of the time these days I am overwhelmed with the sheer amount of things I need to go through from my dad's house and fifty years of my family's life. But then a day like today comes along and I am awash in gratitude and pure pleasure and overwhelmed instead by the gifts that literally, have been bestowed upon me and left in my keeping.

This Vintage Thingie Thursday I'm sharing a bit of treasure,
a charming book entitled ...

Birds and Blossoms
and What the Poets Sing of Them

Published in 1887 (YES! 1887! WOW!). Such a lovely book, from the intricacy of the cover, the gilt edged pages, the moving words of the poets and the wonderful illustrations. Even the inside papers of the cover are lovely - green with birdies. (I apologize for the seriously poor photos, I had a dickens of a time trying to photograph the pages, worrying all the while that I would hurt the book.)

"And all the throng
That dwell in nests and have the gift of song;
Whose household words are songs in many keys,
Sweeter than instrument of man's ere caught;
Whose habitations in the tree-tops even
Are half-way houses on the road to heaven."
H. W. Longfellow

(illustration "Cat-birds and Garden-Roses")

The Friend In Shadow

I heard the faithful nightingale:
Like silver notes from blue-bells swung,
Like tender tones of human tongue,
Like golden cymbals clanging sweet,
Like castanets on fairies' feet,
Came forth that welcome, strangely dear,
To soothe my sorrow-freighted ear.
Ah, then I knew I had one friend,
Whose love with sunshine did not end.
Ethel Lynn Beers

(illustration "Cedar-Birds and Cedar-Bough")

"The birds around me hopped and played:
Their thoughts I cannot measure; -
But the least motion which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure."


(illustration "Sandpipers and Blossoming Beach-Plums")

By the Sea-Shore

The curved strand
Of cool, gray sand
Lies like a sickle by the sea
The tide is low
But soft and slow
Is creeping higher up the lea.

The beach-birds fleet
With twinkling feet
Hurry and scurry to and fro,
A sip, and chat
Of this and that
Which you and I may never know.

John W. Chadwick

(illustration "Owls at Evening")

From "In The Hemlocks"

At one point in the grayest, most shaggy part of the woods, I come suddenly upon a brood of screech owls, full grown, sitting together upon a dry, moss-draped limb, but a few feet from the ground. I pause within four or five yards of them and am looking about me, when my eye lights upon these gray, motionless figures. They sit perfectly upright, some with their backs and some with their breasts toward me, but every head turned squarely in my direction. Their eyes are closed to a mere black line; through this crack they are watching me, evidently thinking themselves unobserved. The spectacle is weird and grotesque, and suggests something impish and uncanny. It is a new effect, the night side of the woods by daylight. After observing them a moment I take a single step toward them, when, quick as thought, their eyes fly wide open, their attitude is changed, they bend, some this way, some that, and, instinct with life and motion,stare wildly around them. Another step, and they all take flight but one, which stoops low on the branch, and with the look of a frightened cat regards me for a few seconds over its shoulder. They fly swiftly and softly, and disperse through the trees. ~ John Burroughs

(illustration "Bobolink and Clover Blossoms")

I heard a little bird sing out one morning
While yet the darkness overpressed the sky,
And not a single streak of rose gave warning
That day was nigh.

It sang with such a sweet and joyful clearness,
The silence piercing with a note so fine,
That I was thrilled with sudden sense of nearness
To Love divine.

Mary Bradley

(illustration "King Bird and Cardinal Flower")

The mellow year is hastening to its close;
The little birds have almost sung their last,
Their small notes twitter in the dreary blast--
That shrill-piped harbinger of early snows;
The patient beauty of the scentless rose,
Oft with the morn's hoar crystal quaintly glassed,
Hangs, a pale mourner for the summer past,
And makes a little summer where it grows:
In the chill sunbeam of the faint brief day
The dusky waters shudder as they shine,
The russet leaves obstruct the straggling way
Of oozy brooks, which no deep banks define,
And the gaunt woods, in ragged scant array,
Wrap their old limbs with sombre ivy-twine.
Hartley Coleridge

(illustration "Purple Finches and Peach Blossoms")

Easter Morning

Oh, hark ! in the budding woodlands
Now far, now near, is heard
The first prelusive warble
Of rivulet and of bird.
Oh listen! the Jubilate
From every bough is poured,
And earth in the smile of spring-time
Arises to greet her Lord !

Frances L. Mace

(illustration "Chewink and Trillium")

Beauties of Morning

But who the melodies of morn can I tell?
The wild brook babbling down the mountain side;
The lowing herd; the sheepfold's simple bell;
The pipe of early shepherd dim descried
In the lone valley; echoing far and wide
The clamorous horn along the cliffs above;
The hollow murmur of the ocean-tide;
The hum of bees, the linnets lay of love,
And the full choir that wakes the universal grove.

James Beattie


  1. This is a real treasure! Thanks for sharing with really makes my day! ♥

  2. I love and enjoyed seeing all these great things.

  3. The pictures in the book are absolutely beautiful! I love old books and pick them up whenever I can at yard sales and thrift stores.

  4. This book is truly a treasure. The cover alone is a work of art, but then illustrations and poetry. Exquisite. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    Thank you so much for stopping by my place. I really enjoyed your comment.

  5. This is an incredibly beautiful book. Each illustration is gorgeous and then there's poetry!

  6. What a beautiful post. I enjoyed seeing the book.

  7. What a beautiful book! It is a real treasure!
    Thank you for sharing!