Nature’s Frames: the Wealthy Deep


Trees, plants, and flowers—of virtuous root;
Gem yielding blossom, yielding fruit,
Choice gums and precious balm;
Bless ye the nosegay in the vale,
And with the sweetness of the gale
Enrich the thankful psalm.

Of fowl—even every beak and wing
Which cheer the winter, hail the spring,
That live in peace or prey;
They that make music, or that mock,
The quail, the brave domestic cock.
The raven, swan, and jay.

Of fishes—every size and shape,
Which nature frames of light escape,
Devouring man to shun:
The shells are in the wealthy deep,
The shoals upon the surface leap,
And love the glancing sun.

Of beasts—the beaver plods his task;
While the sleek tigers roll and bask,
Nor yet the shades arouse;
Her cave the mining coney scoops;
Where o’er the mead the mountain stoops,
The kids exult and browse.

(extract: A Song To David)


from Christopher Smart (c. 1760)


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