Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

GOLD FISH.

“F

VISH, fish, are ye in your duty ?” 6

Favourites, we see you in your beauty, Flashing there, and flashing here, In this basin cool and clear; Where an artificial fountain, From a graceful centre mounting, Leaps high above the topmost grade Of a pyramidal cascade. Then seen with hues and forms uncertain, Through the foam-fringed watery curtain That from the ledge of carved stone Falls a sheet with listless tone, Ye lose the shape of living creatures, And fly asunder, very meteors; With rainbow atoms tossed and scattered, And diamond spray-dust zephyr-shattered.

Now by mechanic sleight of hand
The jet sinks down at my command.

Calmed is the bubbling undulation
That overflowed the smooth-lipped basin;
Gone is the motion and the noise ;-
Now plainly seen, ye glance, or poise,
O'ercanopied, if so your will is,
By the broad-leafed water-lilies.
Or, one by one, no longer sparkling,
Ye sink at leisure, downward darkling,
And motionless, like jewels, lie
With rays half hidden from the eye.

What though ye have no lofty feelings,
No reasoning powers, no bright revealings,
Ye
may

have a plenteous measure
Dealt you of instinctive pleasure;
And
your
fine
array

of senses
May outweigh even man's pretences.
Time may not be for you a level
Without result of good or evil;
Something akin to fear and hope
May comprehend you in its scope ;
But since response can never come
From being proverbially dumb,
Unresolved these points must lie ;
But my first brief question I

Will answer undisguisedly.
Gorgeous, and yet innocent,
Splendour ye with peace have blent :
I see a moral in your beauty ;
Fish, fish, ye are in your duty.

1843.

THE PEACOCK.

ADDRESSED TO A CHILD.

THR

HE peacock is a glorious bird ;

And you may safely take my word That homage to him has been done From ancient times down to our own. 'Twas feigned that through the ethereal blue The car of Juno peacocks drew. And the bold knight-errant paid his Vows to the peacock and the ladies. And lords and dames of courtly breeding, In days of yore would oft be leading A stately dance they moved so grave in, That from the peacock took its name of Pavin, Nor has the sun e'er look'd upon A finer than our peacock Don. All night, whilst angry winds did roar, He roosted in the sycamore; And there to leeward or to windward Turn’d his feathers, nothing hindered ;

Nay, once I saw the hoar night-frost
His tail with silver flakes encrust;
And with icicles disguise
The splendour of his hundred eyes.
Now wide awake, he condescends,
Forsooth, to own us as his friends;
And struts before us on the gravel,
As grand as if returned from foreign travel :
Or to the light his plumage turns,
Perched on the sunniest of the terrace urns :
And though he seems to think the morning
Shines purposely for his adorning,
Such is his gallant gorgeous trim,
That all approve of pride in him.
For by their outward marks of pride
Are lower creatures dignified ;
But man is in his noblest dress
When he is clothed with humbleness.

1845.

« AnteriorContinuar »