Wings

A poem by Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Cory Nicolson)

Was it worth while to forego our wings
To gain these dextrous hands ?
Truly they fashion us wonderful things
As the fancy of man demands.

But - to fly! to sail through the lucid air
From crest to violet crest
Of these great grey mountains, quartz-veined and bare,
Where the white clouds gather and rest.

Even to flutter from flower to flower, -
To skim the tops of the trees, -
In the roseate light of a sun-setting hour
To drift on a sea-going breeze.

Ay, the hands have marvellous skill
To create us curious things, -
Baubles, playthings, weapons to kill, -
But - I would we had chosen wings!

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