The Wrecked Aeroplane

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Unhappy craft of Daedalus reborn,
That liest prone with white wings torn,
And, like some giant prehistoric bird, with throb-
bing sound
Doest beat they wings on unresponsive ground.
Forlorn! Forlorn!

This very morn didst set out with thy plume
Yet damp from thine Icarian tomb,
To plough in mirth again the Stygian wave. With
  launching cry
And sails outset didst dive the unattempted sky
To doom!  To doom!

The early reaper at the start of day
Pauses ‘mid the falling hay,
And stands in wond’ring gaze, with eyes upturned
  to watch they flight;
To him dost seem some goblin that the lifting nigh
Hath gone astray.

About thee in they meteor flight along
The shore, the shrieking sea birds throng
In clustered clouds of angry rivalry, and skim the
To rise and dip again, and follow with their free
Wild tuneless song.

Unfledged, untimely birdling of a breath!
No useless shroud hast thou, nor wreath.
They flight was brief, yet wert thou eagle-hearted
as of yore.
When fearlessly didst flee that alien Cretan shore
To sink in death.

And now the furrowed earth holds fast they wings,
While  far afield the ox-bell rings
A strange, soft dirge. Thy blood is dropping on
the frightened grass;
The night is hushed. A sad, scarce-moving breeze
doth pass,
And passing sings.

© Leon Gellert