To a Marsh Hawk in Spring

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TO A MARSH HAWK IN SPRING

There is health in thy gray wing,
Health of nature's furnishing.
Say, thou modern-winged antique,
Was thy mistress ever sick?


In each heaving of thy wing
Thou dost health and leisure bring,
Thou dost waive disease and pain
And resume new life again.


Man walks in nature still alone,
And knows no one,
Discovers no lineament nor feature
Of any creature.


Though all the firmament
Is o'er me bent,
Yet still I miss the grace
Of an intelligent and kindred face.


I still must seek the friend
Who does with nature blend.
Who is the person in her mask,
He is the friend I ask;


Who is the expression of her meaning,
Who is the uprightness of her leaning,
Who is the grown child of her weaning.


We twain would walk together
Through every weather,
And see this aged Nature
Go with a bending stature.


The centre of this world,
The face of Nature,
The site of human life,
Some sure foundation
And nucleus of a nation,
At least, a private station.