This poem is one of Wilbert Snow’s shorter works, describing the predatory actions of an eagle when swarmed by “king-birds” and concludes with a lovely Biblical reference.
A hundred king-birds flying near our ship
On Fundy’s Bay becalmed, one glassy morning,
When white sails quivered and the reefpoints flapped,
Could not as much as stir the drowsy crew,
Swabbing down decks and parching in the sun,
To lift their eyes above the galley stove-pipe
Till, from the North, a grim, bald-headed eagle
Swooped in among the flock exultingly,
Causing a flutter, as a great world figure
Bestirs an audience that has waited hours.
The king-birds swarmed about and heckled him,
Setting us all blood-hot to take his part;
And when their heckling grew so violent
They clung to him as barnacles to rocks,
In ever-widening circles up he soared
With scores of groundlings darting in his wake.
The poem concludes with the narrator’s interaction with a shipmate who “read the Bible once” and recalled scripture: “they who waited on the Lord renewed their strength: they mounted up on mighty wings like eagles; they would run and not be weary, would walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31.