The Unconquered Air, and Other Poems (1912)/Poor Icarus

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POOR ICARUS

"Calbraith Rodgers, acclaimed the world's aviation hero, after an ocean-to-ocean flight of five thousand miles, plunged to his death."

Poor Icarus!—to soar so high,
Then fall! For you 't was vain to try
 By cunning craft, on faithless wings,
 To capture empyrean things
That still to men the Fates deny!


Yet, even knowing Death so nigh,
Had you reluctant been to fly
 Beyond earth's sure, safe harborings,—
  Poor Icarus?


I think not so. All, all must die!
But you the pathways of the sky
 Found first, and tasted heavenly springs—
 Unfettered as the lark that sings—
And knew strange raptures,—though we sigh:
  "Poor Icarus!"