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.