To a Wild Goose Over Decoys

O LONELY TRUMPETER, coasting down the sky,
Like a winter leaf blown from the bur-oak tree
By whipping winds, and flapping silverly
Against the sun — I know your lonely cry.
I know the worn wild heart that bends your flight
And circles you above this beckoning lake,
Eager of neck, to find the honking drake
Who speaks of reedy refuge for the night.
I know the sudden rapture that you fling
In answer to our friendly gander’s call —
Halloo! Beware decoys! — or you will fall
With a silver bullet whistling in your wing!
Beat on your weary flight across the blue!
Beware, O traveler, of our gabbling geese!
Beware their weedy counterfeit of peace! —
Oh, I was once a passing bird like you.