THE GREAT HORNED OWL STRIX VIRGINIANA
PLATE LXI MALE AND FEMALE
“IT is during the placid serenity of a beautiful summer night when the current of the waters moves silently along reflecting from its smooth surface the silver radiance of the moon and when all else of animated nature seems sunk in repose that the Great Horned Owl, one of the Nimrods of the feathered tribes of our forests, may be seen sailing along silently yet rapidly intent on the destruction of the objects destined to form his food”. – John James Audubon
Flying by inward nightmap
Through the gross tangles of the American bewilderment
Plucking from the frenzied scramble
Among brittle oak leaves
A succulent rodent
Such are the owl’s feats.
He’s no Greek hero, our continental dispatcher
Of mice and shrews
And does not sulk in his tent
When the distribution of slave girls goes against him.
Our nimrod lacks all epic vanity.
On moon scouted nights, swooping over rivers
where doxies on dolphinback
are keeling for the port cities
he pays no heed to their luring songs.