Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
385. The Eagle of the Blue
 
By Herman Melville
 
 
ALOFT he guards the starry folds
  Who is the brother of the star;
The bird whose joy is in the wind
  Exulteth in the war.
 
No painted plume—a sober hue,        5
  His beauty is his power;
That eager calm of gaze intent
  Foresees the Sibyl’s hour.
 
Austere, he crowns the swaying perch,
  Flapped by the angry flag;        10
The hurricane from the battery sings,
  But his claw has known the crag.
 
Amid the scream of shells, his scream
  Runs shrilling; and the glare
Of eyes that brave the blinding sun        15
  The volleyed flame can bear.
 
The pride of quenchless strength is his—
  Strength which, though chained, avails;
The very rebel looks and thrills—
  The anchored Emblem hails.        20
 
Though scarred in many a furious fray,
  No deadly hurt he knew;
Well may we think his years are charmed—
  The Eagle of the Blue.
 

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