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The Disengaging Eagle


There is a rumor

      the eagle tires of being eagle

      and would change wing

      with a less kingly bird as king,

      say, the seagull.


      With swans and cranes and geese,

      so the rumor goes,

      finding his official pose

      faintly absurd,

      he would aspire to unofficial peace

      and be, if possible, pure bird.


There is a rumor

      the eagle nurses now a mood

      to abdicate

      forever and for good

      as flagpole-sitter for the State.


      Is it the fall of age

      merely, a geriatrical complaint,

      this drift to disengage,

      this cool unrage?

      or rather some dark philosophical taint?


There is a rumor

      (God save us) the old warrior

      who screamed against the sun

      and toured with Caesar and Napoleon

      cavils now at war


      and would allegedly retire,

      resign, retreat

      to a blue solitude,

      an inaccessible country seat

      to fan a native fire

      a purely personal feud.


Robert Francis



From The Orb Weaver, Wesleyan University
Press, 1960.  Reprinted by permission.

Backgrounds by
HoneyBrook Graphics

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