Far dost thou come, O bird of noblest form,
From stormy regions of the Arctic home;
From icy floes where walrus herds resort,
And the black seal-flocks tumble in the foam:
Where prowls the white bear o'er the icy fields,
And rise the snow huts of the Esquimaux;
Swart tribes are they who dare the frothy surf,
Pursuing victims with the spear and bow.
There o'er the drifting, far extending snows
The shadows of thy wings sweep o'er the floes.
In Western realms thy race is nigh extinct,
Realms where thy flocks once fill'd the air of yore,
Haunting the lakes and rivers in great flocks,
The great bayous and unfrequented shore;
But now, alas! thy swarming files forsake
Those ancient haunts in river, bog and lake!
In ages past thy beauty charm'd the world.
Great nobles, where their shapely barks were built,
Would seek perfection in thy perfect shape,
Modeled with skill, resplendent with their gilt.
In such fair bark went Cleopatra forth
To conquer Antony and rule the earth.
Far off in Southern haunt, in broad lagoon,
In sunny isles, grand archipelagos
Where the white sands with crystal shells are strewn,
And each green glade with golden fruitage glows;
Where soars the palm-trees and magnolias rise,
And gorgeous flowerets shine like brilliant skies.
There 'mid perennial blooms thy home shall be
Thy snowy pinions sweep o'er shore and sea.