Eagles—Gibert's Battle For The Air

By Florence Earle Coates

It rose, and swam into the sky— The man-made bird;
And the great Eagle saw it fly—
⁠Saw it, and heard
The whirring of its plumeless wings,—
The bird that mounts and soars, but never sings!

The falcon-eyes that face the sun
⁠Blinked on the flight
Of the dread creature that had won
⁠The unwelcome right
To leave its native earth, and dare
Intrude upon the monarch of the Air!

As moved the monoplane, the man,
⁠Strange soul of it,
Sailing the sea cerulean,
⁠The whole of it
Seemed his; ay, subject to his sway.
Then he beheld—an Eagle in his way!

Awed, each upon the other gazed
⁠A moment’s space,
When sudden-swooping talons grazed
⁠The pale man face,
As the fierce earn, there, mid the skies
Struck with blind fury at his rival’s eyes.

Up-fluttering, the feathered king
⁠Plunged down again.
His rushing anger seemed to bring
⁠Fate nearer; then
The man-bird knew the moment’s strife
Not for supremacy alone, but life!

With nerve that grows, in peril, great,
⁠He toward him drew
A thing to strengthen him with Fate;
⁠Whence instant flew
A wingéd death, and far behind
Headlong the Eagle fell, the abyss to find.


Thy fight was over, glorious bird!—
⁠Thy scornful strength,
Which the sky’s sovereignty conferred,
⁠Subdued at length,—
An autumn leaf against the wind,
In conflict with a greater power—called Mind!

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