Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CRANES OF IBYCUS, by EMMA LAZARUS



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THE CRANES OF IBYCUS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There was a man who watched the river flow
Last Line: Bore him the greetings of the deathless dead!
Subject(s): Cranes (birds); Ibycus; Mythology - Classical


THERE was a man who watched the river flow
Past the huge town, one gray November day.
Round him in narrow high-piled streets at play
The boys made merry as they saw him go,
Murmuring half-loud, with eyes upon the stream,
The immortal screed he held within his hand.
For he was walking in an April land
With Faust and Helen. Shadowy as a dream
Was the prose-world, the river and the town.
Wild joy possessed him; through enchanted skies
He saw the cranes of Ibycus swoop down.
He closed the page, he lifted up his eyes,
Lo -- a black line of birds on wavering thread
Bore him the greetings of the deathless dead!





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