The Swan

There is a bird at Francis Pond,

A somber sacred swan;

She calls unheard, while none respond

Till present cries are gone.

 

I saw her ‘cross the ripples swim

A dreary distance off;

Beside yon mossy arboreal limb

She bows her crest to trough.

 

With gentle meme she has her fill

And finishes her drink,

Then with demeanor gentler still

She lifts her head to think.

 

I wonder what she contemplates

So pensive and so wise—

What burdens must attenuate

Her poise to troubled guise?

 

In a manner less decorous,

Less schooled than that of she,

In a stumbled mess I approached with a fuss

To ask of what I did see.

 

“Kind madam,” said I, “please do tell,

This hazy day, your thoughts;

For if I’ve read your count’nance well,

Your mind ‘s with worries wrought.

 

“What grievances could come to trouble

This sort of placid creature

Whose waters less than she do trouble

With mildness of feature?”

 

At that she turned her gaze toward me,

And peered through her dark eye-mask,

And with a learned decorum did flee

To heaven’s heights at last.

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