I know a falcon swift and peerless
As e’er was cradled In the pine;
No bird had ever eye so fearless,
Or wing so strong as this of mine.
The winds not better love to pilot
A cloud with molten gold o’er run,
Than him, a little burning islet,
A star above the coming sun.
For with a lark’s heart he doth tower,
By a glorious upward instinct drawn;
No bee nestles deeper in the flower
Than he in the bursting rose of dawn.
No harmless dove, no bird that singeth,
Shudders to see him overhead;
The rush of his fierce swooping bringeth
To innocent hearts no thrill of dread.
Let fraud and wrong and baseness shiver,
For still between them and the sky
The falcon Truth hangs poised forever
And marks them with his vengeful eye.
– James Russell Lowell