Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/119

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The Suppliant Dove.

Chased by a hawk, there came a dove
With worn and weary wing,
And took her stand upon the hand
Of Kasi's noble king.

The monarch smoothed her ruffled plumes.
And laid her on his breast;
And cried, "No fear shall vex thee here,
Rest, pretty egg-born, rest!

Fair Kasi's realm is rich and wide,
With golden harvests gay,
But all that's mine will I resign
Ere I my guest betray."

But, panting for his half-won spoil,
The hawk was close behind.
And with wild eye and eager cry
Came swooping down the wind:

"This bird," he cried, "my destined prize,
'Tis not for thee to shield:
'Tis mine by right and toilsome flight
O'er hill and dale and field.

Hunger and thirst oppress me sore.
And I am faint with toil:
Thou should'st not stay a bird of prey.
Who claims his rightful spoil.