AN EAGLE was soaring through the air when suddenly it heard the whizz of an Arrow, and felt itself wounded to death. Slowly it fluttered down to the earth, with its life-blood pouring out of it. Looking down upon the Arrow with which it had been pierced, it found that the shaft of the Arrow had been feathered with one of its own plumes. “Alas!” it cried, as it died,
“We often give our enemies the means for our own destruction.”
Æschylus' Myrmidons as given by the Scholiast on Aristophanes' Aves, 808. Æschylus quotes it as being a Libyan fable, it is therefore probably Eastern. Byron refers to it in his English Bards and Scotch Reviewers:
So the struck eagle, stretch'd upon the plain,
No more through rolling clouds to soar again,
View'd his own feather on the fatal dart,
And wing'd the shaft that quiver'd in his heart.
He got the idea from Waller, To a lady singing a song of his composing. Cf. La Fontaine, ii. 6.
Eagle and the Arrow, The
Fables of Aesop, The
Aesop & Jacobs, Joseph
Macmillan & Co.
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