Once on a time a paper kite
Was mounted to a wondrous height,
Where, giddy with its elevation,
It thus expressd 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, Id take a flight,
And pierce the clouds beyond their sight,
But, ah! like a poor prisner bound,
My string confines me near the ground;
Id brave the eagles towring wing,
Might I but fly without a string.”
It tuggd and pulld, while thus it spoke,
To break the stringat last it broke.
Deprivd at once of all its stay,
In vain it tryd to soar away;
Unable its own weight to bear,
It flutterd downward through the air;
Unable is own course to guide,
The winds soon plungd it in the tide.
Ah! foolish kite, thou hadst no wing,
How couldst thou fly without a string!
My heart replyd, “O Lord, I see
How much this kite resembles me!
Forgetful that by thee I stand,
Impatient of thy ruling hand;
How oft Ive wishd to break the lines
Thy wisdom for my lot assigns'
How oft indulgd a vain desire
For something more, or something highr'
And, but for grace and love divine,
A fall thus dreadful had been mine.”
- John Newton