How oft against the sunset sky or moon
I watched that moving zig-zag of spread wings
In unforgotten autumns gone too soon,
In unforgotten springs!
Creatures of desolation, far they fly
Above all lands bound by the curling foam;
In misty fens, wild moors and trackless sky
These wild things have their home.
They know the tundra of Siberian coasts,
And tropic marshes by the Indian seas;
They know the clouds and night and starry hosts
From Crux to Pleiades.
Dark flying rune against the western glow--
It tlls the sweep and loneliness of things,
Symbol of autumns vanished long ago,
Symbol of coming springs!