Sep 142011
Last Tuesday, for kicks, the cachinnate sea-crew
Downed an albatross, a vast sea-bird,
The indolent companion of our wake, who lazily traced
Our ship's slippage through bitter breakers.

Once deposed to the common planks,
This king of the wild blue stumbled in shame,
Piteously dragging his white infinite wings
Like chalky oars unmoored beside him.

Winged voyager!  Now dementedly frail!
O royal one!  Now splay and exposed!
One sailor crams His Highness' beak with a burning pipe;
The next limps and mimics this cripple who soared!

The Poet is one with this swift prince of the clouds
Who haunts the tempest and mocks swart archers:
Exiled to earth's low hoots and threats,
His giant wings hobble each inch of his step.

--Charles Baudelaire