Far Horizons

by Bliss Carman


 

THE THUNDER BIRD


 

WHAT of our Lord in the sky,
Whose mighty pinion
Over the void of the blue
Swept in dominion?

When the slow beat of his wings

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Rustled with thunder,
All the tribes knew it and stood
Spellbound in wonder.

Far in the canyon of day
Was his rock-dwelling,

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When he would go or return
Was no foretelling.

Trackless untamed and aloof
Dwelt the Far-seeing,
Giver of life-giving rain,

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Quick death decreeing.

Then came the greedy of heart,
The white destroyer,
Casting his noose in the air,—
Reckless decoyer.

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Taking the god in a trap,
Taming his power,
Harnessed and broken to toil,
Sold by the hour.

What of the Lord of the storm,—

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The desert’s vastness,—
Once we revered in our hearts,
Safe in his fastness?

See where the palefaces still
Cower in panic,

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Knowing their master at bay,
Instant, titanic,

When, dealing beauty and death,
From the crossed wire
Crashes the god over all—

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Thunder and fire.