The evil and lack of human decency on display are nothing new, alas. They are part of human nature -- always have been, always will be. One chooses one's path.
We loved our Nightjar, but she would not stay with us.
We had found her lying as dead, but soft and warm,
Under the apple tree beside the old thatched wall.
Two days we kept her in a basket by the fire,
Fed her, and thought she well might live -- till suddenly
In the very moment of most confiding hope
She raised herself all tense, quivered and drooped and died.
Tears sprang into my eyes -- why not? the heart of man
Soon sets itself to love a living companion,
The more so if by chance it asks some care of him.
And this one had the kind of loveliness that goes
Far deeper than the optic nerve -- full fathom five
To the soul's ocean cave, where Wonder and Reason
Tell their alternate dreams of how the world was made.
So wonderful she was -- her wings the wings of night
But powdered here and there with tiny golden clouds
And wave-line markings like sea-ripples on the sand.
O how I wish I might never forget that bird --
But even now, like all beauty of earth,
She is fading from me into the dusk of Time.
Henry Newbolt (1862-1938), A Perpetual Memory and Other Poems (John Murray 1939).
Herbert Hughes-Stanton (1870-1937)
"The Mill in the Valley" (1892)