Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE EAGLE OF THE BLUE, by HERMAN MELVILLE



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THE EAGLE OF THE BLUE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Aloft he guards the starry folds
Last Line: The eagle of the blue.
Subject(s): American Civil War; Birds; Eagles; United States - History


ALOFT he guards the starry folds
Who is the brother of the star;
The bird whose joy is in the wind
Exulteth in the war.

No painted plume -- a sober hue,
His beauty is his power;
That eager calm of gaze intent
Foresees the Sibyl's hour.

Austere, he crowns the swaying perch,
Flapped by the angry flag;
The hurricane from the battery sings,
But his claw has known the crag.

Amid the scream of shells, his scream
Runs shrilling; and the glare
Of eyes that brave the blinding sun
The volleyed flame can bear.

The pride of quenchless strength is his --
Strength which, though chained, avails;
The very rebel looks and thrills --
The anchored Emblem hails.

Though scarred in many a furious fray,
No deadly hurt he knew;
Well may we think his years are charmed --
The Eagle of the Blue.






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