Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE EAGLE THAT IS FORGOTTEN, by NICHOLAS VACHEL LINDSAY

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THE EAGLE THAT IS FORGOTTEN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Sleep softly - eagle forgotten - under the stone
Last Line: To live in mankind, far, far more...Than to live in a name.
Alternate Author Name(s): Lindsay, Vachel
Subject(s): Altgeld, John Peter (1847-1902); Freedom; Reform & Reformers; Liberty

(John P. Altgeld. Born December 30, 1'47;
Died March 12, 1902)

Sleep softly ... eagle forgotten ...under the stone.
Time has its way with you there, and the clay has its own.

"We have buried him now," thought your foes, and in
secret rejoiced.
They have made a brave show of their mourning, their
hatred invoiced.
They had snarled at you, barked at you, foamed at you
day after day.
Now you were ended. They praised you...and laid you away.

The others that mourned you in silence and terror and truth,
The widow bereft of her crust, and the boy without youth,
The mocked and the scorned and the wounded, the lame
and the poor
That should have remembered forever...remember no more.

Where are those lovers of yours, on what name do they call,
The lost, that in armies wept over your funeral pall?
They call on the names of a hundred high-valiant ones;
A hundred white eagles have risen the sons of your sons;
The zeal in their wings is a zeal that your dreaming began,
The valor that wore out your soul in the service of man.

Sleep softly,...eagle forgotten,...under the stone,
Time has its way with you there, and the clay has its own.
Sleep on, O brave-hearted, O wise man, that kindled
the flame --
To live in mankind is far more than to live in a name,
To live in mankind, far, far more...than to live in a name.

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