Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE GALLIC EAGLE, by BERNARD BARTON



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TO THE GALLIC EAGLE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Fame's favourite minion
Last Line: Thy proud spirit never!
Alternate Author Name(s): Quaker Poet
Subject(s): Birds; Eagles


FAME'S favourite minion!
The theme of her story;
How quail'd is thy pinion,
How sullied its glory:

Where blood flow'd like water,
Exulting it bore thee!
Destruction and slaughter
Behind and before thee.

Where glory was blushing,
Thy flight was the fleetest;
Where death's sleep was hushing,
Thy slumber was sweetest.

When broad-swords were clashing
Thy cry was the loudest;
When deep they were gashing,
Thy plume was the proudest.

But, triumph is over:
No longer victorious,
No more shalt thou hover,
Destructively glorious!

Far from the battle's shock,
Fate hath fast bound thee;
Chain'd to the rugged rock,
Waves warring round thee.

Instead of the trumpet's sound,
Sea-birds are shrieking:
Hoarse on thy rampart's bound,
Billows are breaking.

The standards which led thee
Are trampled and torn now;
The flatteries which fed thee,
Are turn'd into scorn now.

For ensigns unfurling,
Like sunbeams in brightness;
Are crested waves curling,
Like snow-wreaths in whiteness.

No sycophants mock thee
With dreams of dominion;
But rude tempests rock thee,
And ruffle thy pinion.

Thy last flight is taken,
Hope leaves thee forever;
And victory shall waken
Thy proud spirit never!





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