The Loose Feather
By Hannah Flagg Gould
T is wandering down through pathless air,
A lonely thing in a boundless space,
That has lost its way, and knows not where
To find a home, or a resting place.
The fearless breast, where late’t was worn,
Has met the arrow the foeman hurled;
The venturous wing, by which’t was borne
Through clouds, must soon in death be furled.
Poor timorous thing! when it felt the dart,
Where it peaceful lay, how it fluttered and fled;
Nor staid till the blood of the eagle’s heart,
To sully and moisten its down, was shed!
And now, as in careless sport, ‘t is tossed
Above the stream by the whiffling wind!
In the next swift wave ‘t will be curled and lost,
Nor leave one trace of itself behind.
So fly the joys that warm the breast,
Where they in their downy lightness grew,
When their only home and their native rest
The shaft of sorrow is passing through.
And what shall again, the wounded heart
And its vanished peace e’er bring together?
Ah! sundered once, they must sink apart,
Like the stricken bird and her falling feather!