Bird-Catching,” by R. H. Stoddard, is a poem about some hunters relaxed about their quarry, with “The Bird-Catchers,” by Winslow Homer, who contributed several engraved frontispieces to Our Young Folks. [Note: This image has been digitally “de-aged,” though I made every effort to keep the artist's work unaltered.]
“Bird-Catching,” by R. H. Stoddard (from Our Young Folks, August 1867; p. 461)
The Bird-Catchers

“The Bird-Catchers,” by Winslow Homer, August 1867

Down behind the grain together,

In the sunny summer weather,

It is pleasant, on my word,

Even if we lose the bird.

Shall we catch him? None can tell us,

They are such suspicious fellows,—

Birds of every note and feather,

In the golden summer weather.

There,—you stirred, and scared him.—Who?

It was but the wind that blew,

Trampling through the rustling grain:

See! he lifts his head again.

Whether he will go or stay,

Neither he nor we can say,—

Of the same uncertain feather,

Creatures of the summer weather.

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