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Kite

Once on a time a paper kite
Was mounted to a wondrous height,
Where, giddy with its elevation,
It thus express’d 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 poor pris’ner bound,
My string confines me near the ground;

I’d brave the eagle’s towring wing,
Might I but fly without a string.”
It tugg’d and pull’d, while thus it spoke,
To break the string—at last it broke.

Depriv’d at once of all its stay,
In vain it try’d to soar away;
Unable its own weight to bear,
It flutter’d downward through the air;

Unable is own course to guide,
The winds soon plung’d it in the tide.
Ah! foolish kite, thou hadst no wing,
How could’st thou fly without a string!

My heart reply’d, “O Lord, I see
How much this kite resembles me!
Forgetful that by thee I stand,
Impatient of thy ruling hand;

How oft I’ve wish’d to break the lines
Thy wisdom for my lot assigns'
How oft indulg’d a vain desire
For something more, or something high’r'

And, but for grace and love divine,
A fall thus dreadful had been mine.”

- John Newton

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