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To soar as a wild white bird,
   With a song unbound and fetterless!
With a gush of song in the throat,
   Loosened and loud and letterless,
And the wind its only accompaniment.

To sing and soar and look down
   On a world one leaves when one tires of it:
With a glancing wing for a sail,
   Dashing, when one desires of it,
Through the spray of the great sea-wilderness.

Or sweeping with mighty curves
   From land to sky, and to land again:
To cast off Time, and to stay
   Where one's will alone lays hand on one:
Not to own or owe in the universe.

Sudden and swift some day
   Meet Death, and know no fear of Him,
But close the eyes and have done.
   . . . When a wild bird dies none hear of him.
He has sung and ceased, and is happiest.

This work is in the public domain in Australia because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (August 2014).


This work is also in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in Australia in 1996, and no copyright was registered in the U.S. (This is the combined effect of Australia having joining the Berne Convention in 1928, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.)

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1935, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.