Death of the Eagle

José María Heredia y Heredia
Cuban
1803 – 1839

 

Although beyond the eternal snows, aspires
The vast-winged eagle still to loftier air,
That nearer to the sun in blue more clear
He may renew his eyeball’s splendid ires.

He rises. Sparks in torrents he inspires.
Still up, in proud, calm flight, he glories where
The storm breeds lightnings in its inmost lair;
Whereat his wings are smit by their fierce fires.

With scream, in waterspout borne whirlingly,
Shriveled, sublimely tasting flame’s last kiss,
He plunges to the fulgurant abyss.

Happy he who, for Fame or Liberty,
In strength’s full pride and dream’s enrapturing bliss
Dies such undaunted, dazzling death as this.

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