Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
IV. An Incident
By Mrs. Elizabeth Oakes Smith (1806–1893)
A SIMPLE thing, yet chancing as it did,
When life was bright with its illusive dreams,
A pledge and promise seemed beneath it hid.
The ocean lay before me, tinged with beams
That lingering draped the west, a wavering stir;        5
And at my feet down fell a worn, gray quill:
An eagle, high above the darkling fir,
With steady flight, seemed there to take his fill
Of that pure ether breathed by him alone.
O noble bird! why didst thou loose for me        10
Thy eagle plume? still unessayed, unknown,
Must be that pathway fearless winged by thee:
  I ask it not, no lofty flight be mine;
  I would not soar like thee, in loneliness to pine!

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