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29. CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE (continued)
'There's a sweet little cherub that sits up aloft,
Birds--bright and beautiful birds--fly over the valley of Typee. You see them perched aloft among the immovable boughs of the majestic bread-fruit trees, or gently swaying on the elastic branches of the Omoo; skimming over the palmetto thatching of the bamboo huts; passing like spirits on the wing through the shadows of the grove, and sometimes descending into the bosom of the valley in gleaming flights from the mountains. Their plumage is purple and azure, crimson and white, black and gold; with bills of every tint: bright bloody red, jet black, and ivory white, and their eyes are bright and sparkling; they go sailing through the air in starry throngs; but, alas! the spell of dumbness is upon them all--there is not a single warbler in the valley!
I know not why it was, but the sight of these birds, generally the ministers of gladness, always oppressed me with melancholy. As in their dumb beauty they hovered by me whilst I was walking, or looked down upon me with steady curious eyes from out the foliage, I was almost inclined to fancy that they knew they were gazing upon a stranger, and that they commiserated his fate.
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