in The Land of Little Rain.
Sweet, sweet, sweet! O happy that
(Listen to the meadow-larks, across the fields that sing!)
Sweet, sweet, sweet! O subtle breath of balm.
O winds that blow, O buds that grow, O rapture of the Spring!
Sweet, sweet, sweet! Who prates of
care and pain?
Who says that life is sorrowful? O life so glad, so fleet!
Ah! he who lives the noblest life finds life the noblest gain.
The tears of pain a tender rain to make its waters sweet.
Sweet, sweet, sweet! O happy world
Dear heart, I hear across the fields my mateling pipe and call.
Sweet, sweet, sweet! O world so full of bliss—
For life is love, the world is love, and love is over all!
INA D. COOLBRITH,
in Songs from the Golden Gate.
How could we spare the lark, that most companionable bird of the plains? Wherever one may wander ... his lovely, plaintive, almost human song may be heard nearly everywhere, at frequent intervals the livelong day. He is one of the blessings of this land, one which every lover of beautiful song welcomes as heartily as the ordinary mortal the warm, bright days of this climate.
CHARLES FRANKLIN CARTER,
in Some By-Ways of California.
THE MEADOW LARK AND I.
The song of life is living
The love-heart of the year;
And the pagan meadow-lark and I
Can nothing find to fear.
We build our simple homes
For opulence of rest
Among the hills and the meadow grass,
And sing our grateful best.
THE RUBY-CROWNED KNIGHT.
The dominant characteristic of the Ruby-Crown is subtlety. He conceals his nest, and even his nest-building region, so successfully that few there are who know where he breeds, or who ever find his nest, hidden in the shaggy end of a high, swinging branch of spruce or pine, deep in the California mountain recesses. His prettiest trick of concealement is the way he alternately hides and reveals the bright red feathers in his crown. You may watch him a long time, seeing only a wee bit of an olive-green bird, toned with dull yellow underneath, marked on wings and about the eyes with white; but suddenly, a more festive mood comes upon him. The bird is transformed. A jaunty dash of brilliant red upcrests itself upon his head, lighting up his quiet dress.... For several moments this flame of color quivers, then it burns into a mere thread of red and is gone.
in Feathered Californians.