Richard Henry Wilde (1789-1847)

"Richard Henry Wilde is best known in our literature for his studies in the life and times of Tasso. . . He wrote two original sonnets." (Sterner)

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To a Mocking Bird

Wing'd mimic of the woods! thou motley fool!
Who shall thy gay buffoonery describe?
Thine ever ready notes of ridicule
Pursue thy fellows still with jest and gibe.
Wit, sophist, songster, Yorick of thy tribe,
Thou sportive satirist of Nature's school;
To thee the palm of scoffing we ascribe,
Arch-mocker and mad Abbot of Misrule!
For such thou art by day--but all night long
Thou pour'st a soft, sweet, pensive, solemn strain,
As if thou didst in this thy moonlight song
Like to the melancholy Jacques complain,
Musing on falsehood, folly, vice, and wrong,
And sighing for thy motley coat again.

(Text from The Sonnet in American Literature.)