flying lesson II, processing by Berenika

      . . come i gru van cantando lor lai,
      Facendo in aer di se lunga riga. — DANTE

      Black shadows fall
      From the lindens tall,
      That lift aloft their massive wall
      Against the southern sky;

      And from the realms
      Of the shadowy elms
      A tide-like darkness overwhelms
      The fields that round us lie.

      But the night is fair,
      And everywhere
      A warm, soft vapor fills the air,
      And distant sounds seem near,

      And above, in the light
      Of the star-lit night,
      Swift birds of passage wing their flight
      Through the dewy atmosphere.

      I hear the beat
      Of their pinions fleet,
      As from the land of snow and sleet
      They seek a southern lea.

      I hear the cry
      Of their voices high
      Falling dreamily through the sky,
      But their forms I cannot see.

      O, say not so!
      Those sounds that flow
      In murmurs of delight and woe
      Come not from wings of birds.

      They are the throngs
      Of the poet’s songs,
      Murmurs of pleasures, and pains, and wrongs,
      The sound of winged words.

      This is the cry
      Of souls, that high
      On toiling, beating pinions, fly,
      Seeking a warmer clime,

      From their distant flight
      Through realms of light
      It falls into our world of night,
      With the murmuring sound of rhyme.

      –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Birds of Passage


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