Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MARTIN, by LOREN H. B. KNOX

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THE MARTIN, by            
First Line: I caught a baby martin
Last Line: Where first its wings were tried.
Subject(s): Martins

I caught a baby martin
That fell from overhead.
Wide-mouthed, it squealed to fight me,
But when it tried to bite me,
It grabbed its wing instead.

It twisted, struck and struggled
In fury to be free;
No hostile hawk were bolder,
But still it bit its shoulder
And thought it clutched at me.

So like to man in anger,
It battled self as foe,
While all of its relations
Were swooping indignations
To make me let it go.

Closely clasped, but gently,
Weak pinions in a fright
Were fluttering fast and faster
To gain a force to master
Five thousand miles of flight.

Poor puff of captive terror,
How strong the little will
To mount the sky's commotions
Over continents and oceans
To journey to Brazil.

I freed it, fragile, frantic,
Scarce lifting from the lawn,
But knew it would grow stronger
From practice high and longer,
To reach the Amazon.

It soon will join the myriads
Of soarers of its feather,
Which as a countless nation
In training for migration
Will vault the vasts together.

With them it will be swarming,
With them will disappear;
One day flock dome and wiring,
The next, its hosts untiring,
Will wing the hemisphere.

Beyond the seas and forests
To strike without a guide.
But back from that far roaming
Next spring will see it homing
Where first its wings were tried.

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