The Fettered Vultures.

A poem by Charles Hamilton Musgrove

(Battleships of the Coronation Naval Review, Spithead, England, June 24, 1911.)


Hail, sceptered Mars, great god of wars!
Hail, Carnage, queen of blood!
And hail those muffled armaments--
Thy fettered vulture brood!
Their sable wings are laureled and
Their necks are ribboned gay,
And silken folds their talons hide
This kingly holiday.

Grotesque and grim, in chains of gold,
They go with solemn mien,
Their horrid plumes bedizened for
The eyes of king and queen;
But padded claw and mummer's crest
Have served not to disguise
Those iron beaks that thirst for blood,
Those wakeful, wolfish eyes.

Ten condors with unsated maws,
Four lesser birds of prey,
An eagle with undaunted eye
From Shasta, far away;
A score of birds from many seas,
All purged of grime and blood,
Keep truckling pace the fete to grace,--
Mars' fettered vulture brood.

But see ye not, great god of wars,
And ye, Britannia's king,
The day when these black birds shall fly
On fierce unshackled wing?
When they shall meet 'twixt sea and sky,
Rend flesh and break the bone,
And blood shall trickle through the waves
To gray old Triton's throne?

Hail, sceptered Mars, great god of wars!
Hail, Carnage, queen of blood!
And hail those muffled armaments,--
Thy fettered vulture brood!
And yet Christ's gentle teaching scrolls
Prophetic on the sky:
"Behold! some day thy vulture brood
Shall go unfed and die!"

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'The Fettered Vultures.' by Charles Hamilton Musgrove

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy