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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
From ‘Eloa’
By Alfred de Vigny (1797–1863)
 
        ON the snowy mountain crown of the hamlet,
        The Spaniard has wounded the Asturian eagle
        That threatened his white bounding flock.
        With bristling plumes, and raining down blood,
The bird strikes upward to heaven, quick as a flash could descend,        5
Gazing up at his sun! breathing it in with wide-open beak,
As if once again his life to retake from the empire of flame.
In the golden air he swims with great strokes,
Hovers a moment in rest, ’mid the bright darting rays,—
But the aim of the man was too sure:        10
The hot ball burns like a coal in his wound;
His wing drops its shafts, his royal mantle its plumes;
Dispossessed of his heights, his weight bears him down,—
He sinks into the snow of the mount, with wild heaving breast;
And the cold of the earth, with its heavy death sleep,        15
Shuts the eyes that held the respect of the sun.
 
 
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