Through personification and simile the 19th century English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson shows the majestic beauty of the eagle in his short poem, "The Eagle."
Tennyson paints a simple picture in two stanzas of an eagle perching high atop a remote mountain cliff scanning the world below him, probably for his next meal. He is personified in the opening line, "He clasps the crag with crooked hands." The next line may bring up the image of a beautiful bald eagle surrounded by sky and clouds, "Ring'd with the azure world, he stands." Picture the images used to show the bird as a symbol of America.
In the final stanza Tennyson emphasizes the power of the eagle in the simile:
"He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls."
Speed, power and grace are all illustrated in these lines as the eagle crashes down from his mountain lair to become a small rodent's worst nightmare.