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Nursery Rhymes . . . for children.

Once upon a time . . . . .  from our fabulous collection of Fairy Tales for children . . .  they lived happily ever after . . .

The Phoenix Bird

IN the Garden of Paradise, beneath the Tree of Knowledge,
bloomed a rose bush. Here, in the first rose, a bird was born.
His flight was like the flashing of light, his plumage was
beauteous, and his song ravishing. But when Eve plucked the
fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, when she and
Adam were driven from Paradise, there fell from the flaming
sword of the cherub a spark into the nest of the bird, which
blazed up forthwith. The bird perished in the flames; but from
the red egg in the nest there fluttered aloft a new one- the
one solitary Phoenix bird. The fable tells that he dwells in
Arabia, and that every hundred years, he burns himself to
death in his nest; but each time a new Phoenix, the only one
in the world, rises up from the red egg.

The bird flutters round us, swift as light, beauteous in
color, charming in song. When a mother sits by her infant's
cradle, he stands on the pillow, and, with his wings, forms a
glory around the infant's head. He flies through the chamber
of content, and brings sunshine into it, and the violets on
the humble table smell doubly sweet.

But the Phoenix is not the bird of Arabia alone. He wings
his way in the glimmer of the Northern Lights over the plains
of Lapland, and hops among the yellow flowers in the short
Greenland summer. Beneath the copper mountains of Fablun, and
England's coal mines, he flies, in the shape of a dusty moth,
over the hymnbook that rests on the knees of the pious miner.
On a lotus leaf he floats down the sacred waters of the
Ganges, and the eye of the Hindoo maid gleams bright when she
beholds him.

The Phoenix bird, dost thou not know him? The Bird of
Paradise, the holy swan of song! On the car of Thespis he sat
in the guise of a chattering raven, and flapped his black
wings, smeared with the lees of wine; over the sounding harp
of Iceland swept the swan's red beak; on Shakspeare's shoulder
he sat in the guise of Odin's raven, and whispered in the
poet's ear 'Immortality!' and at the minstrels' feast he
fluttered through the halls of the Wartburg.

The Phoenix bird, dost thou not know him? He sang to thee
the Marseillaise, and thou kissedst the pen that fell from his
wing; he came in the radiance of Paradise, and perchance thou
didst turn away from him towards the sparrow who sat with
tinsel on his wings.

The Bird of Paradise- renewed each century- born in flame,
ending in flame! Thy picture, in a golden frame, hangs in the
halls of the rich, but thou thyself often fliest around,
lonely and disregarded, a myth- 'The Phoenix of Arabia.'

In Paradise, when thou wert born in the first rose,
beneath the Tree of Knowledge, thou receivedst a kiss, and thy
right name was given thee- thy name, Poetry.




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