Hermit Thrush

Here is Milton's stately description of the creation of the birds
"Mean while the tepid caves, and fens and shores Their brood as numerous hatch, from the egg that soon Bursting with kindly rupture forth disclosed Their callow young, but feathered soon, and fledge They summed their pens, and soaring the air sublime With clang despised the ground, under a cloud In prospect; there the eagle and the stork On cliffs and cedar tops their eyries build: Part loosely wing the region, part more wise In common, ranged in figure wedge their way, Intelligent of seasons, and set forth Their airy caravans high over seas Flying, and over lands with mutual wing Easing their flight; so steers the prudent crane Her annual voyage, borne on winds; the air Floats, as they pass, fanned with unnumbered plumes: From branch to branch the smaller birds with song Solaced the woods, and spread their painted wings Till even, nor then the solemn nightingale Ceased warbling, but all night tuned her soft lays: Others on silver lakes and rivers bathed Their downy breast; the swan with arched neck Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows Her state with oary feet: yet oft they quit The dank, and rising on stiff pennons tower The mid aerial sky: others on ground Walked firm; the crested cock whose clarion sounds The silent hours, and the other whose gay train Adorns him, coloured with the florid hue Of rainbow and starry eyes." [Paradise Lost VII 417446]

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