James Edwin Campbell

The Hawk

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This pirate of the over sea,
No black-hulled brig he sails,
No black flag at the mizzen-peak
Flaunts death-heads to the gales.
Yet fiercer than the wild Corsair
This pirate of the upper air.


Watch how he listless drifts along,
His wings with winds at sport --
But look! a sail has hove in sight,
A dove has crossed to port.
See how he crowds on ev'ry sail
And screams his war-cry to the gale.


The frightened dove -- a merchantman
Has not a gun to give him fight;
With all her canvas to the wind,
She tacks to starboard, wild with fright.
Ah! vain for her this tack to take,
Like Fate he follows in her wake!


She weakens in her useless flight,
The wind is beating in her face.
But watch him as he drives along,
His ev'ry motion -- strength and grace --
She's overhauled! Her course is run!
A fierce, fierce scream, the chase is won!

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James Edwin Campbell