On the Wing

Once in a dream (for once I dreamed of you)
    We stood together in an open field;
    Above our heads two swift-winged pigeons wheeled, 
Sporting at east and courting full in view:—
When loftier still a broadening darkness flew, 
    Down-swooping, and a ravenous hawk revealed;
    Too weak to fight, too fond to fly, they yield;
So farewell life and love and pleasures new. 
Then as their plumes fell fluttering to the ground, 
    Their snow-white plumage flecked with crimson drops, 
        I wept, and thought I turned towards you to weep:
    But you were gone; while rustling hedgerow tops 
Bent in a wind which bore to me a sound
        Of far-off piteous bleat of lambs and sheep. 

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 9, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.