The Flight of the Canada Geese
Honk! Honk! On stormy wings they cleave the upper air,
On gusty breeze, above the seas, their onward cohorts fare;
They come from frosty solitudes, where broods the Arctic night,
Where deserts grim, spread vast and dim, in the auroral light.
The Esquimaux, with bended bow, fast paddling his canoe,
Their flocks hath chas’d o’er icy waste of waters heavenly blue;
On frozen shore of Labrador the Indian’s steel hath sped,
But vain the shaft, and vain the craft, and vain the fowler's lead.
In twinkling gleam of cold moonbeam their dusky files I trace,
In wedged-like throng, in column long, they speed the tireless race,
O’er craggy mountain-sides, and over torrent tides,
The shadow of each column, in swift procession glides.
O’er the far-resounding surge, in the dim horizon’s verge,
I see their dark battalions on the winnowing pinions urge;
O’er Lake Superior’s sheet their clanging pinions beat,
Where Western plain and golden grain spread sumptuous pastures sweet.
The Bleak November cloud casts down its snowy shroud,
And the throbbings and the sobbings of the winds are swelling loud;
The snowdrift hides the grass, and the lakes are crystal glass,
So warn’d, the geese-flock legions to gentler regions pass, ---
To the balmy Southern clime, where the orange and the lime,
With blossom’d fruits, perennial shoots, are ever in their prime;
To paradise ambrosial, to banks spic’d perfume,
Where forests wide and rivers-side are prodigal with bloom.
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