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 recognize her."
"I am quite convinced," said the 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 a 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.