The Linnet, pp.168-169.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]

   IS about the size of the Gold-Finch, and compensates, by a still more melodious voice, the want of variety in his plumage, which, except in the red-breasted species, is nearly all of one colour. His musical talents are, like those of many other birds, repaid with ungratefulness; for he is kept in cages on account of his singing. 

   The red-breasted Linnet generally builds here on the sea-coast, and on the continent in vineyards; but that livery of nature, the crimson scarf that glows so beautifully under his neck, disappears as soon as the bird is domesticated. None but those who enjoy freedom are the favourites of nature! This bird is one of the first whose appearance announces the spring; a circumstance alluded to in the following passage: 

“Thrice welcome to my bow’r, where woodbine sweet, 

With jessamine entwin’d, checquers the shade; 

Welcome, young Zephir’s friend, whose early voice 

Calls down fair Cloris to the realms of flow’rs; 

Soft warbling Linnet, welcome to the vine 

Whose gentle tendrils curl around my cot. 

So delicate thy notes! thy scarf so bright; 

So keen the eye that, thro’ the foliage, peeps! 

Sure pledge of spring, thrice welcome to my bow’r.” 


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