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TO A FISH


You strange, astonished-looking, angle-faced,

Dreary-mouthed, gaping wretches of the sea,

Gulping salt-water everlastingly,

Cold-blooded, though with red your blood be graced,

And mute, though dwellers in the roaring waste;

And you, all shapes beside, that fishy be,--

Some round, some flat, some long, all devilry,

Legless, unloving, infamously chaste:--

O scaly, slippery, wet, swift, staring wights,

What is't ye do? What life lead? eh, dull goggles?

How do ye vary your vile days and nights?

How pass your Sundays? Are ye still but joggles

In ceaseless wash? Still nought but gapes, and bites,

And drinks, and stares, diversified with boggles?
 

Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)

 

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