Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ALBATROSS, by CHARLES BAUDELAIRE



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THE ALBATROSS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Often, in idle hours, men of the crew
Last Line: His giant wings are weights to keep him low.
Subject(s): Albatrosses; Birds


Often, in idle hours, men of the crew
Capture an albatross, great bird of the sea
That follows the vessel gliding through
The briny gulfs in indolent company.

No sooner are these sky-bound kings
Placed on the deck than dumb shame soars;
Piteously they droop their great white wings
To drag on either side of them like oars.

The winged adventurer, how dull and weak!
This handsome fellow wears a clownish guise!
One takes his stubby pipe to poke its beak,
One, limping, mimics how the cripple flies!

The poet resembles this prince of the clouds
Who soars with the tempest and mocks the bow:
Exiled on earth amid roaring crowds
His giant wings are weights to keep him low.





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