The Frigate Pelican

Rapidly cruising or lying on the air there is a bird
that realizes Rasselas's friend's project
of wings uniting levity with strength. This
hell-diver, frigate-bird, hurricane-
bird; unless swift is the proper word
for him, the storm omen when
he flies close to the waves, should be seen
fishing, although oftener
he appears to prefer

to take, on the wing, from industrious crude-winged species,
the fish they have caught, and is seldom successless.
A marvel of grace, no matter how fast his
victim may fly or how often may
turn. The others with similar ease,
slowly rising once more,
move out to the top
of the circle and stop

and blow back, allowing the wind to reverse their direction —
unlike the more stalwart swan that can ferry the
woodcutter's two children home. Make hay; keep
the shop; I have one sheep; were a less
limber animal's mottoes. This one
finds sticks for the swan's-down-dress
of his child to rest upon and would
not know Gretel from Hänsel.
As impassioned Handel —

meant for a lawyer and a masculine German domestic
career — clandestinely studied the harpsichord
and never was known to have fallen in love,
the unconfiding frigate-bird hides
in the height and in the majestic
display of his art. He glides
a hundred feet or quivers about
as charred paper behaves — full
of feints; and an eagle

of vigilance. . . . Festina lente . Be gay
civilly? How so? " If I do well I am blessed
whether any bless me or not, and if I do
ill I am cursed. " We watch the moon rise
on the Susquehanna. In his way,
this most romantic bird flies
to a more mundane place, the mangrove
swamp to sleep. He wastes the moon.
But he, and others, soon

rise from the bough and though flying, are able to foil the tired
moment of danger that lays on heart and lungs the
Weight of the python that crushes to powder.
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