Felicia Dorothea Hemans

(25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835 / Liverpool, England)

The Wounded Eagle - Poem by Felicia Dorothea Hemans

Eagle! this is not thy sphere!
Warrior-bird, what seek'st thou here?
Wherefore by the fountain's brink
Doth thy royal pinion sink?
Wherefore on the violet's bed
Lay'st thou thus thy drooping head?
Thou that hold'st the blast in scorn,
Thou that wear'st the wings of mourn.

Eagle! wilt thou not arise?
Look upon thine own bright skies!
Lift thy glance! the fiery sun
There his pride pf place has won,
And the mountain lark is there,
And sweet sound hath fill'd the air:
Hast thou left that realm on high?
-Oh, it can be but to die!
Eagle! Eagle! thou hast bowed
From thine empire o'er the cloud!
Thou that hadst ethereal birth,
Thou hast stoop'd too near the earth,
And the hunter's shaft hath found thee,
And the toils of death have bound thee,
Wherefore didst thou leave thy place,
Creature of a kingly race?

Wert thou weary of thy throne?
Was the sky's dominion lone?
Chill and lone it well might be,
Yet that mighty wing was free!
Now the chain is o'er thee cast:
From thy heart the blood flows fast,
Woe for gifted souls and high!
Is not such their destiny?

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 8, 2010

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