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The Arrogance of Wings

Updated on March 8, 2014

Lament for Icarus, by Herbert James Draper


It’s not the sun that caused his fall,

though it did melt the wax.

It’s not the feathers that failed;

they were useless without the wax.

It’s not the fall that killed him,

but it did steal his breath.

It’s not even the fault

of the rock that broke

his back.

No, Atropos had cut his thread

for the arrogance he embodied.

Both the inventor and his son

strove too high, reached too far.

It was not done to make your own wings.

If the gods permitted you into their sky;

they provided the means.

And, Oh!

Carefree youth!

So certain in your invincibility;

sure that not even the sun

could cause you harm.

Cast from the sky,

dashed upon the rocks,

a broken body and featherless wings.

Even the muses mourn the golden boy

and lament the lesson learned.

Human arrogance will always fall

before the power of the truly Almighty.

© 2014 Casey Cooper


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