Discoverer      

 
     From the French of Philippe Desportes

 

Here Icarus, that dashing airman, fell.

His home-made apparatus came undone.

From youth he aimed at nothing but the sun:

Hence these few feathers drifting on the swell

 

Are others drawn along his parallel?

How has he lost what any winner won?

These earth-bound seekers of oblivion

Will find what trailing plumes of pride foretell.

 

The fastest ways of flight left him unmoved.

Only his wings were wax: his heart had proved

Its theory, and he saw the great stars dim

 

Around him, as he wrote his melting name

Between their points: then to the sea he came,

And waves of glory rose to welcome him.