The Fish Hawk

By George Sterling

Because the new lawn mower did not work,
Ezra, the hired man, sate him by the shore
And meditated. Past him, taking thought,
A fish hawk swept and poised above the bay.
And Ezra, In that space of afternoon,
Saw the great bird fall once, and twice, and thrice,
A hungry plummet, on some wary fish,
And, being disappointed, beat aloft
To fresh descensions. After sunny lapse
Of time, turned Ezra to his task again,
And shook the new lawn mower, and did pick
About its inwards with a rusty wire,
Prevailing not against its malady.
(Of such are man's inventions). Whereupon
Be cast again his gaze unto the hawk,
And watched that one (time, is it not for slaves ?)
Drop from the skies on mackerel or shad,
And drop in vain. And Ezra gave once more
His craft to the machine, and kicked its wheels
And smote upon its handle with a rock,
Advancing not his fortunes. And once more
He turned his eyes on the white-breasted bird
(Long toil is weariness unto the heart),
And saw the watery Fates relent at last
And grant a careless blueflsh to its need,
With which It flapped aloft, and sailed afar
To eat it on a barren cedar tree.
And Ezra strove no more, but wiped his brows
And gave decision In this wise: "That there
Machine must go back to the store again."
Why state the lesson of this simple tale?

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