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    On the 29th of April, as I was fishing from the bank of the river near the Nine-Acre-Corner bridge, standing on the quaking grass and willow roots, where the muskrats lurk, I heard a singular rattling sound, somewhat like that of the sticks which boys play with their fingers, when, looking up, I observed a very slight and graceful hawk, like a nighthawk, alternately soaring like a ripple and tumbling a rod or two over and over, showing the under side of its wings, which gleamed like a satin ribbon in the sun, or like the pearly inside of a shell.  This sight reminded me of falconry and what nobleness and poetry are associated with that sport.  The Merlin it seemed to me it might be called: but I care not for its name.  It was the most ethereal flight I had ever witnessed.  It did not simply flutter like a butterfly, nor soar like the larger hawks, but it sported with proud reliance in the fields of air; mounting again and again with its strange chuckle, it repeated its free and beautiful fall, turning over and over like a kite, and then recovering from its lofty tumbling, as if it had never set its foot on terra firma.  It appeared to have no companion in the universe -- sporting there alone -- and to need none but the morning and the ether with which it played.  It was not lonely, but made all the earth lonely beneath it.  Where was the parent which hatched it, its kindred, and its father in the heavens?  The tenant of the air, it seemed related to the earth but by an egg hatched some time in the crevice of a crag; -- or was its native nest made in the angle of a cloud, woven of the rainbow's trimmings and the sunset sky, and lined with some soft midsummer haze caught up from earth?  Its eyry now some cliffy cloud.
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