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Title: The Dalliance of the Eagles

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: November 1880

Publication information: Cope's Tobacco Plant (November 1880): 552.

Source: Our transcription is based on a digital image of an original issue.

Whitman Archive ID: per.00054

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, April Lambert, and Susan Belasco




image 1

The Dalliance of the Eagles.1

———

BY WALT WHITMAN.
SKIRTING the river road, (my languid forenoon walk, my rest,)
Skyward, in air, a sudden muffled sound—the dalliance of the
eagles,
The rushing amorous contact high in space together,
The clinching, interlocking claws—a living, fierce, gyrating
wheel,
Four beating wings—two beaks—A swirling mass, tight
grappling,
In tumbling, turning, clustering loops, straight downward
falling,
Till o'er the river pois'd, the twain yet one, a moment's lull,
A motionless, still balance in the air—then parting, talons
loosing,
Upward again, on slow-firm pinions slanting, their separate,
diverse flight,
She hers, he his, pursuing.

Notes:

1. Revised slightly for inclusion in "By the Roadside," Leaves of Grass (1881–82). [back]


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