“You have me at my word,”
Said the orphan to the bird.
“Or by Providence I swear
I will join you in the air,
To beat against the blast
And bereave the ground at last,
Scraping wisps of sun away
Before Earth can lay her claim.”
Then from tumbling time unbowed,
She turned toward the crowd,
Breathing countless ages in
Through a throat like molten tin.
The martial mass knelt cowed
As she cast her lace aloud
And withdrew her sallow shroud.