ON SEEING AN AQUARIUM IN A BOOKSTORE WINDOW a Poem
ON SEEING AN AQUARIUM IN A BOOKSTORE WINDOW
HERE in your cell of glass,
Fast by the thronging avenue, ye keep
Your home, O finny natives of the deep!
That all may see who pass.
The sunshine of the day
Gleams thro' the pictur'd windows in your home,
And the soft twilight gilds your crystal dome
With many a checkered ray.
The school-child stops to look,
And views your playful sports with wondering eyes,
Charm'd with your glittering scales and mottled dyes,
Bright troutlings of the brook!
He enters at the door
To seek some book, so dear to heart of boy,
But drops the pictur'd page—the pretty toy—
Thy wonders to explore.
He marvels how the bright,
The spotted trout, that loves the meadow'd stream,
The gold-fish, shining like a prismy beam,
Should swim harmonious there,
With the salt minnows, eels, and crabs that creep,
And all the grotesque creatures of the deep,
And the same dwelling share.
He feels that God above,
Who order'd in His wise and heavenly plan
That all the varied brotherhood of man
Should live in peace and love,
Hath so ordain'd the rule
That all the lesser tribes of land and sea—
The fish, the fowl—though diverse, should agree
In nature's common school.
Will e'er that day have birth
When the meek lamb shall with the lion rest,
The kid find shelter in the tiger's breast,
And love pervade the earth?
When all this earth that tread—
The birds of air, the beasts that range the wild—
Shall gentle be as new-born helpless child,
And blood no more be shed!
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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