Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
The Huma
By Louisa P. Smith
FLY 1 on! nor touch thy wing, bright bird,
  Too near our shaded earth,
Or the warbling, now so sweetly heard
  May lose its note of mirth.
Fly on—nor seek a place of rest,        5
  In the home of “care-worn things,”
’T would dim the light of thy shining crest,
  And thy brightly burnish’d wings,
To dip them where the waters glide
That flow from a troubled earthly tide.        10
The fields of upper air are thine,
  Thy place where stars shine free,
I would thy home, bright one, were mine,
  Above life’s stormy sea.
I would never wander—bird, like thee,        15
  So near this place again,
With wing and spirit once light and free—
  They should wear no more, the chain
With which they are bound and fetter’d here,
For ever struggling for skies more clear.        20
There are many things like thee, bright bird,
  Hopes as thy plumage gay,
Our air is with them for ever stirr’d,
  But still in air they stay.
And happiness, like thee, fair one!        25
  Is ever hovering o’er,
But rests in a land of brighter sun,
  On a waveless, peaceful shore,
And stoops to lave her weary wings,
Where the fount of “living waters” springs.        30
Note 1. “A bird peculiar to the east. It is supposed to fly constantly in the air, and never touch the ground.” [back]

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