Going Down Hill On A Bicycle, A Boy's Song

WITH lifted feet, hands still,
I am poised, and down the hill
Dart, with heedful mind;
The air goes by in a wind.

Swifter and yet more swift,
Till the heart with a mighty lift
Makes the lungs laugh, the throat cry:--
'O bird, see; see, bird, I fly.

'Is this, is this your joy?
O bird, then I, though a boy
For a golden moment share
Your feathery life in air!'

Say, heart, is there aught like this
In a world that is full of bliss?
'Tis more than skating, bound
Steel-shod to the level ground.

Speed slackens now, I float
Awhile in my airy boat;
Till, when the wheels scarce crawl,
My feet to the treadles fall.

Alas, that the longest hill
Must end in a vale; but still,
Who climbs with toil, wheresoe'er,
Shall find wings waiting there.

by Henry Charles Beeching

Other poems of BEECHING (3)

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In this haunting poem, James A. Emanuel tells the story of Emmett Till in a disturbing way: as a children's bedtime story. His method works quite well. 'He keeps floating, Round the darkness, Edging through, The silent chill' is a refers to 14 year old Emmett's corpse floating through the Tallahatchie River. 'Necklaced in, A coral toy' refers to the barbed wire which was used to tie Emmett to the gin fan, thrown into the Tallahatchie. His feet were tied down and after three days, his bloated and deteriorated body rose to the surface and was fished out. The most disturbing lines of the poem are 'Tell me, please, That bedtime story, Of the fairy, River Boy'. It is ironic because many parents of color used the story of Till as a warning to their children of what racism can do to a person, simply because he or she is of a different race. However, the child in this poem is fascinated with the story, perhaps out of fear and wonder. Many times, people research and yearn to learn more about something that fascinates them, even if that something is the lynching of a child. Emanuel uses this interesting approach and it creates a dynamic poem.