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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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