‘Mid barriers of eternal ice,
‘Mid desolate climes unknown,
Within the Arctic Circle’s ring,
Where winter plants his frosty throne,
The brant-geese all the summer long,
Feeding, innumerable throng.
But when the waning season warns
The frozen regions to forsake,
Those winged pilgrims o’er the seas
Their long aerial journeys make;
Wafted all day thro’ realms of space,
At nightfall resting from the race.
At stations of the Hudson Bay
The Indian and the hunters rear
Their ambush of the wattled reeds,
Far o’er the salty meadows drear,
And, simulating wild-geese cries,
They slay the victim as he flies.
In all the bays that line the coast,
Honking, their feeding crowds resort;
Moveless, save rous’d by padding boat
Or by the gunner’s sharp report.
When tides are out and flats are bare
The eel-grass from its roots they tear;
Then, when the selling tides arise,
Swimming, they feast upon the prize.
When winds grow frosty and the breath
Of Winter all the air congeals,
The brant-flock, soaring high in the air,
In spiral circuit whirls and wheels,
Then, darting seaward on their tour,
Seek softer skies and sunnier shore.
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