Thou art clothed on with plumes, as with leaves,
Frond-like, and lighter than air;
Thy pinions are arrows in sheaves,
That carry thee none knoweth where.
Thou fliest, and none gives pursuit,
Thy realm both the earth and the sky;
Thou hast in thy bosom a flute,
The glance of a soul in thine eye.
Thou obeyest a sovereign power
That sets thee on Summer’s track;
Thou knowest the tide and the hour
When to advance, or turn back.
Into the world thou art flung,
Thou herald of rapture and light.
Thou weavest a home for thy young–
And none but thyself hath the sleight.
Out of the world thou art gone,
And who shall say where is thy rest?
A rapture and light are withdrawn
Into some Heaven-side nest.
For who of my kind hath beheld
Where, stricken, were any of thine?
Hast thou not been, from of old–
A spirit unscathed and divine?