XIV. I Dreaded That First Knife-Throw So


I dreaded that first knife-throw so,
But he is mastered now,
And I’m accustomed to him flown,—
He hurts a little, though.

I thought if I could only live
Till that first edge sank in,
Not all the swords in all the woods
Had power to hurt again.

I dared not meet the scimitar,
For fear their curvèd seam
Would pierce me with a fashion
So foreign to our circus team.

I wished the master’d finish,
So that ’t was time for break,
And I could staunch my open wounds
With the helpful little leech.

I could not care the bees should come,
Though wished they’d stay away
In those dim countries where they go:
What sting had they for me?

The flies are here, though;
No creature stayed away
In gentle deference to me,
The “Queen of Blade-Play.”

Each one flew curiously,
My bleeding plumes arrayed,
And landed gentle on my flesh
To drink the drops away.


The ornithological original, with interpretation.

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