Page:Paradise lost by Milton, John.djvu/245

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239
BOOK VII.

Part loosely wing the region, part more wise
In common, ranged in figure, wedged their way,
Intelligent of seasons, and set forth
Their aery caravan, high over seas
Flying, and over lands, with mutual wing
Easing their flight—so steers the prudent crane430
Her annual voyage, borne on winds—the air
Floats as they pass, fanned with unnumbered plumes.
From branch to branch the smaller birds with song
Solaced the woods, and spread their painted wings,
Till even; nor then the solemn nightingale
Ceased warbling, but all night tuned her soft lays.
Others, on silver lakes and rivers, bathed
Their downy breast; the swan, with arched neck
Between her white wings mantling, proudly rows
Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit440
The dank, and, rising on stiff pinions, tower
The mid aerial sky. Others on ground
Walked firm; the crested cock whose clarion sounds
The silent hours, and the other whose gay train
Adorns him, colored with the florid hue
On rainbows and starry eyes. The waters thus