The Catbird sings a crooked song, in minors that are flat,
And, when he can’t control his voice he mews just like a cat,
Then nods his head and whisks his tail and lets it go at that.
– Oliver Davie
He sits on a branch of yon blossoming bush,
This madcap cousin of robin and thrush,
And sings without ceasing the whole morning long;
Now wild, now tender, the wayward song
That flows from his soft, gray fluttering throat;
But often he stops in his sweetest note,
And, shake a flower from the blossoming bough,
Drawls out, “Mi-eu, miow!”
– The Catbird, Edith M. Thomas
From Handbook of Nature Study, 1911
Old Catbird in the bush out there
is raisin’ fuss galore,
He’s crackin’ songs the mock-bird sang
In balmy days of yore.
But pshaw! he thinks he’s foolin’ folks
Now he ain’t foolin’ me:
There’s no white feather in his wing,
As any eye can see.
He thinks he’ll make me get up now
From dozin’ in the shade,
And follow him a mile or two,
Just for the fuss he’s made.
But hello, now, that song of his
Does seem to round off sweet,
Just like the mock-bird’s nesting song,
With semi-quiver’s neat.
I guess I’ll go an’ peek around
A little, while he sings,
To see, for sure, if he has got
White feathers in his wings.
– Charles Sloan Reid, The National Magazine, 1900