Hughie’s Flight as an Eagle, pp.71-73.

[Horace in Homespun Contents]

Jam jam residunt cruribus aspera.” – CAR. II., 20. 

THE bards are birds an’ born to flee! 

If I were ane, an’ choice were free, 

I’d be an Eagle! wha but he 

To rule the air! 

The very sun wi’ open ee 

He can ootstare! 

– 

His flicht is owre the cluds o’ heaven, 

He screams abune the flashin’ levin 

That sends the wee fools, terror-driven, 

Hame when they see’t; 

The hieche4st hills are thunder-riven 

Aneth his feet! 

– 

Nae peer has he; an’ wha wad daur 

The rushin’ o’ his wings in war? 

Or seek wi’ impious bolt to bar 

His plumag’d pride? 

Nae fear has he; his flicht is far, 

His empire wide. 

– 

Already doun my sides I feel 

The feathers creepin’! on my heel 

A spur sticks oot as sharp as steel! 

My wings are risin’! 

I’m ready for the lift! fareweel! 

I’m aff, bird-guizin’. 

– 

Wi’ ae waff o’ my wings I soar 

A mile abune the city’s roar; 

Then round the globe, shore after shore, 

Wi’ pinions regal, 

I flee a strang flicht wi’ the core, 

A brither eagle! 

– 

Homer flees first – for wha wad seek 

To tak’ that honour fra the Greek? 

Then Pindar wi’ triumphant beak 

An’ bluidy talons, – 

Tho’, whyles, he whummles wi’ a shriek 

Clean aff his balance! 

– 

Then comes a lower flicht, but still 

Far, far abune oof loftiest hill; 

Yon’s Virgil wi’ his weel-preen’s quill 

Alangside Horace; 

A band o’ Eaglets screamin’ shrill 

Comes next in chorus. 

– 

But wha is this wi’ brunt ee-bree, 

An’ scowther’d on the wings awee? 

It’s Dante: he delichts to flee 

A’ by himsel’. 

The fire that’s in his flamin’ ee 

He stole fra hell! 

– 

An’ yonder, noo, ye may descry 

Shakespeare an’ MIlton ridin’ by, 

Dimmin’ the haill dome o’ the sky, 

Their ain dominion; 

While far within their shadow I Streek oot my pinion. 

– 

But yet it’s grand to sail the air 

Altho’ a mile aneth the pair, – 

To flap your wings owre yearthly care, 

Owre kirk an’ steeple, 

An’ see them point Lo here! lo lthere! 

The gapin’ people. 

– 

Nae mound nor monument for me! 

An Eagle-poet canna dee! 

But when the lightnin’ flashes free, 

The tempest sings, 

Look up, an’ in the tumult see 

My soaring wings! 

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