Hard by the lilied Nile I saw
A duskish river-dragon stretched along,
The brown habergeon of his limbs enamelled
With sanguine almandines and rainy pearl:
And on his back there lay a young one sleeping,
No bigger than a mouse; with eyes like beads,
And a small fragment of its speckled egg
Remaining on its harmless, pulpy snout;
A thing to laugh at, as it gaped to catch
The baulking merry flies. In the iron jaws
Of the great devil-beast, like a pale soul
Fluttering in rocky hell, lightsomely flew
A snowy trochilus, with roseate beak
Tearing the hairy leeches from his throat.

More by Thomas Lovell Beddoes

Dirge

We do lie beneath the grass  
    In the moonlight, in the shade  
  Of the yew-tree. They that pass  
    Hear us not. We are afraid  
      They would envy our delight,
      In our graves by glow-worm night.  
Come follow us, and smile as we;  
    We sail to the rock in the ancient waves,  
Where the snow falls by thousands into the sea,  
    And the drown'd and the shipwreck'd have happy graves.

Related Poems

The Crocodile

How doth the little crocodile
     Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
     On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin,
     How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
     With gently smiling jaws!