Vachel Lindsay

(November 10, 1879 – December 5, 1931 / Springfield, Illinois)

The Modest Jazz-Bird - Poem by Vachel Lindsay

The Jazz-bird sings a barnyard song—
A cock-a-doodle bray,
A jingle-bells, a boiler works,
A he-man's roundelay.

The eagle said, 'My noisy son,
I send you out to fight!'
So the youngster spread his sunflower wings
And roared with all his might.

His headlight eyes went flashing
From Oregon to Maine;
And the land was dark with airships
In the darting Jazz-bird's train.

Crossing the howling ocean,
His bell-mouth shook the sky;
And the Yankees in the trenches
Gave back the hue and cry.

And Europe had not heard the like—
And Germany went down!
The fowl of steel with clashing claws
Tore off the Kaiser's crown.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 10, 2010



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