A FABLE

Some cawing Crows, a hooting Owl,
A Hawk, a Canary, an old Marsh-Fowl,
      One day all met together,
To hold a caucus and settle the fate
Of a certain bird (without a mate),
      A bird of another feather.

"My friends," said the Owl, with a look most wise,
"The Eagle is soaring too near the skies,
      In a way that is quite improper;
Yet the world is praising her, so I'm told,
And I think her actions have grown so bold
      That some of us ought to stop her."

"I have heard it said," quoth Hawk with a sigh,
"That young lambs died at the glance of her eye,
      And I wholly scorn and despise her.
This, and more, I am told, they say--
And I think that the only proper way
      Is never to recognise her."

"I am quite convinced," said Crow, with a caw,
"That the Eagle minds no moral law
      She's a most unruly creature."
"She's an ugly thing," piped Canary Bird;
"Some call her handsome--it's so absurd--
      She hasn't a decent feature."

Then the old Marsh Hen went hopping about,
She said she was sure--she hadn't a doubt--
      Of the truth of each bird's story;
And she thought it her duty to stop her flight,
To pull her down from her lofty height,
      And take the gilt from her glory.

But, lo! from a peak on the mountain grand
That looks out over the smiling land
      And over the mighty ocean,
The Eagle is spreading her splendid wings--
She rises, rises, and upward swings,
      With a slow, majestic motion.

Up in the blue of God's own skies,
With a cry of rapture, away she flies,
      Close to the Great Eternal:
She sweeps the world with her piercing sight--
Her soul is filled with the Infinite
      And the joy of things supernal.

Thus rise forever the chosen of God,
The genius-crowned or the power-shod,
      Over the dust-world sailing;
And back, like splinters blown by the winds,
Must fall the missiles of silly minds,
      Useless and unavailing.

Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler
Chicago : Belford, Clarke & Co, 1883.


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