The Kite

My waking dreams are best concealed,
Much folly, little good they yield;
But now and then I gain when sleeping,
A friendly hint that’s worth the keeping.
Lately, I dreamt of one who cried,
“Beware of self, beware of pride;
When you are prone to build a Babel,
Recall to mind this little fable.”

Once upon a time a paper kite,
Was mounted to a wondrous height,
Where with its giddy elevation,
It thus expressed self admiration:
“See how yon crowds of gazing people,
Admire my flight above the steeple;
How would they wonder if they knew,
All that a kite like me can do?”

“Were I but free, I’d take a flight
And pierce the clouds beyond their sight;
But ah! Like a prisoner bound,
My string confines me near the ground.
I’d brave the eagle’s towering wing,
Could I but fly without a string.”

It tugged and putted while thus it spoke,
To break the string — at last it broke.
Deprived at once of all its stay,
In vain it tried to soar away;
Unable its own weight to bear,
It fluttered downwards through the air.
Unable its own course to guide,
The winds soon plunged it in the tide.
Ah! Foolish kite, thou hast no wing,
How could’st thou fly without a string?

My heart replied, “O Lord I see,
How much this kite resembles me!
Forgetful that by Thee I stand,
Impatient of Thy ruling hand;
How oft I wished to break the lines,
Thy wisdom for my lot assigns.
How oft indulged a vain desire,
For something more or something higher!
And, but for grace and love divine,
A fall thus dreadful had been mine.’