Ode to an Eagle.

Ætherial bird! that on the mountain’s peak,1
Reposing in the sun thy mighty pinions,2
Look’st from thy throne of clouds o’er cliff and creek,3
Or with expanded plumes and sharpen’d beak,4
Rangest at will thy undisturb’d dominions!5
Majestic monarch of the sky !6
How mean appears man’s destiny,7
When, sailing in the blue profound,8
Thou wheel’st in measured circles round!9
Or borrowest the lightning’s speed,10
Such as of old rapt Ganymede :11
Behold thee darting from above12
The winged messenger of Jove!13
Him thy resounding plumage bore14
Aloft from Simois’ winding shore,15
To minister in blest abodes,16
An earthborn cupbearer to gods ;17
While his reft flock o’er Ida driven18
Gazed on their guardian’s flight to heaven.19
Bird of rapine! bird of glory !20
Who, in the page of Grecian story,21
Hath follow’d Ammon’s warrior son22
To Issus’ plain from Macedon,23
Nor wondering mark’d thy victor wing,24
High poised above the heroic king?25
He, borne along the waves of war,26
Dash’d on the mitred Persian’s car,27
And hail’d thee from his steed of fire,28
Proud omen of his awful sire.29
Lordly bird of high dominion!30
Under thine imperial pinion31
Rome her banners wide unfurl’d,32
Mistress of a prostrate world!33
From Calpe’s cliffs, and Afric’s sand,34
To sea-girt Thulé’s bounding strand;35
From the banks of fair Garonne,36
To thy dark ruins, Babylon,37
Hear her shouts victorious ring,38
Triumphant mark her eagle wing.39
Bird of conquest! bird of sorrow40
A later tyrant dared to borrow41
The splendour of thy magic name,42
And nobly won the wreath of fame.43
O’er Alpine snows, and Adda’s flood,44
Trace his ruthless path in blood;45
Austrian maids shall long abhor46
Red Marengo’s conqueror.47
Him Vienna’s sons await,48
Mourning at her broken gate;49
While her Danube’s mazy flow50
A moment checks th’ advancing foe51
How sternly calm th’ invader sits52
Amid thy carnage, Austerlitz!53
How scornful hears, on Jena’s plain,54
A royal heroine plead in vain!55
His star is waned—his race is run!—56
Where is dread Napoleon ?57
Gallia’s eagle backward driven,58
Quail’d beneath an arctic heaven ;59
Europe’s conqueror subdued,60
Lies in his rocky solitude:61
A thousand leagues of salt sea foam62
Have borne him to his island home;63
Here his crimes and sorrows cease——64
The mighty exile sleeps in peace.65
———And haply thou, sad bird and lone,66
With drooping wing and ruffled plume,67
Above the warrier’s lowly tomb,68
Sit’st like a spirit, on thy mountain throne,69
To guard from touch profane his monumental stone.70