Sitting upon my throne of augury, As is my wont, where every fowl of heaven Find harborage, upon mine ears was borne A jargon strange of twitterings, hoots, and screams; So knew I that each bird at the other tare With bloody talons, for the whirr of wings Could signify naught else.
Go to, and make your profit where ye will, Silver of Sardis change for gold of Ind; Ye will not purchase this man’s burial, Not though the winged ministers of Zeus Should bear him in their talons to his throne; Not e’en in awe of prodigy so dire Would I permit his burial, for I know No human soilure can assail the gods; This too I know, Teiresias, dire’s the fall Of craft and cunning when it tries to gloss Foul treachery with fair words for filthy gain.
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Bald eagle talons can measure as long as two inches.