|Towards the sun, towards the south-west
|A scorched breast.
|A scorched breast, breasting the sun
like an answer,
|Like a retort.
|An eagle at the top of a low cedar-bush
|On the sage-ash desert
|Reflecting the scorch of the sun from
his breast ;
|Eagle, with the sickle dripping darkly
|Erect, scorched-pallid out of the hair
of the cedar,
|Erect, with the god-thrust entering him
|Eagle gloved in feathers
|In scorched white feathers
|In burnt dark feathers
|In feathers still fire-rusted ;
|Sickle-overswept, sickle dripping over
|Staring two ways at once, to right and
|With iron between your two eyes ;
|To the feet ;
|Erect one ;
|The god-thrust entering you steadily
|You never look at the sun with your two
|Only the inner eye of your scorched
|Looks straight at the sun.
|You are dark
|Except scorch-pale-breasted ;
|And dark cleaves down and weapon-hard
|At your scorched breast,
|Like a sword of Damocles,
|Youíve dipped it in blood so many times
|That dark face-weapon, to temper it
|Why do you front the sun so
|American eagle ?
|As if you owed him an old, old grudge,
great sun : or an old, old allegiance.
|When you pick the red smoky heart from
a rabbit or a light-blooded bird
|Do you lift it to the sun, as the Aztec
priests used to lift red hearts of men ?
|Does the sun need steam of blood do you
|In America, still,
|Old eagle ?
|Does the sun in New Mexico sail like a
fiery bird of prey in the sky
|Does he shriek for blood ?
|Does he fan great wings above the
prairie, like a hovering, blood-thirsty bird ?
|And are you his priest, big eagle
|Whom the Indians aspire to ?
|Is there a bond of bloodshed between
|Is your continent cold from the ice-age
still, that the sun is so angry ?
|Is the blood of your continent somewhat
|That the sun should be greedy for it ?
|I donít yield to you, big, jowl-faced
|Nor you nor your blood-thirsty sun
|That sucks up blood
|Leaving a nervous people.
|Fly off, big bird with a big black
|Fly slowly away, with a rust of fire in
|Dark as you are on your dark side,
eagle of heaven.
|Even the sun in heaven can be curbed
and chastened at last
|By the life in the hearts of men.
|And you, great bird, sun-starer, heavy
|Can be put out of office as sacrifice
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