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"The Cormorant"

Random Poetry List LXVII

East of the garden, a wild glen glimmers with fox-gloves,
     And there, through the heat of the day,
In a fern-shadowed elf-ring of sand, with pine-logs round it,
     Three bird-voiced children play;
With a palm to shelter their golden heads from evil
     When the noon sun grows too strong;
And in Orchard's cove, unwatched, there's a cormorant diving
     All day long.

Long years ago, from the coasts of my own far childhood
     I watched him ride the wave,
And his way is no more changed than the wave's long whisper,
     Though a world has gone to the grave.
He swims the unwrinkled swell of the opaline water
     Like a small black pirate swan;
Then, quietly lifting a long sleek neck, dips over,
     Slips under, and is gone.

And the bay is as bare as the unstained sky for a minute;
     But, while you wonder and stare,
Though there's never a bubble to hint at the place of his rising,
     All at once he is riding there,
With his long beak flicking a sliver of quick cold silver
     Shivering and alive to the light,
As he rode on the dawn-red seas before man first sailed them,
     And shall ride, after man's last night.

When the elf-ring under the palm is choked with nettles,
     And the golden heads are grey,
If they ever revisit the haunts of their own lost childhood,
     And return to Orchard's Bay,
They may watch him awhile, a small black speck; and remember
     How, once, I made them a song;
In Orchard's cove, unwatched, there's a cormorant diving
     All day long.

Alfred Noyes (1880-1958)

Originally e-mailed on Saturday, August 18, 2001 @ 8:37 PM

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Fri. 08/18/06 05:29:15 PM
Categorized as Literary & Random Poetry List.

   
         
         

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