This section is from the book "A Library Of Wonders And Curiosities Found In Nature And Art, Science And Literature", by I. Platt. Also available from Amazon: A library of wonders and curiosities.
A Wooden Eagle, and an Iron Fly. - Petrus Ramus tells us of a Wooden Eagle and an Iron Fly, made by Regio-montanus, a famous mathematician at Nuremberg: whereof the first flew forth out of the city, aloft in the air, met the Emperor Maximilian a good way off, coming towards it; and, having saluted him, returned again, waiting on him at the city gates. The second, at a feast, whereto the Emperor had invited his familiar friends, flew forth from his hanu, and, taking a round, returned thither again, to the great astonishment of the beholders: both which, the excellent pen of the noble Du Bartas has expressed in the following lines:
Why should I not that Wooden Eagle mention, A learned German's late admir'd invention, Which, mounting from his fist that fram'd her, Flew far to meet the German Emperor? And, having met him, with her nimble train And pliant wings turning about again,
Follow'd him close unto the castle gate Of Nuremberg; whom all their shows of state, Streets hung with arras, arches curious built, Grey-headed senate, and youth's gallantries, Grac'd not so much as only this device.
He goes on, and thus describes the Fly:
Once, as this artist, more with mirth than meat;
Feasted some friends whom he esteemed great,
Forth from his hand an Iron Fly flew out;
Which having flown a perfect round about,
With weary wings returned to his master,
And as judicious on his arm he plac'd her.
Oh! wit divine, that in the narrow womb
Of a small Fly could find sufficient room
For all those springs, wheels, counterpoise, and chains,
Which stood instead of life, and blood, and veins.