Newspaper History presents media sourced from a United States newspaper dating back 108 years.

  • The Eagle

    From The Birmingham Age Herald, December 7, 1913. By Robert Browning.

    Dervish Ferishtah walked the woods one eve,
    And noted on a bough a raven’s nest
    Whereof each youngling gaped with callow beak
    Widened by want; for why? beneath the tree
    Dead lay the mother bird, “A piteous chance!
    How shall they ‘scape destruction?” sighed the sage
    —Or sage about to be, though simple still.
    Responsive to which doubt, sudden there swooped
    An eagle downward, and behold he bore
    (Great hearted) in his talons flesh wherewith
    He stayed their craving, then resought the sky.
    “Ah, foolish, foolish me!” the observer smiled,
    “Who toil and moil to eke out life, when lo,
    Providence cares for every hungry mouth!”
    To profit by which lesson, home went he,
    And certain days sat musing—neither meat
    Nor drink would purchase by his handiwork.
    Then—for his head swam and his limbs grew faint—
    Sleep overtook the unwise one, whom in dream
    God thus admonished: “Hast thou marked my deed?
    Which part assigned by Providence dost judge
    Was meant for man’s example? Should he play
    The helpless weakling, or the helpful strength
    That captures prey and saves the perishing?
    Sluggard, arise, work, eat, then feed who lack!”