To The Mammoth-Tortoise Of The Mascarene Islands.

A poem by Henry Austin Dobson

"Tuque, Testudo, resonare septem
Callida nervis."
Hor. iii. 11.

Monster Chelonian, you suggest
To some, no doubt, the calm,--
The torpid ease of islets drest
In fan-like fern and palm;

To some your cumbrous ways, perchance,
Darwinian dreams recall;
And some your Rip-van-Winkle glance,
And ancient youth appal;

So widely varied views dispose:
But not so mine,--for me
Your vasty vault but simply shows
A LYRE immense, per se,

A LYRE to which the Muse might chant
A truly "Orphic tale,"
Could she but find that public want,
A Bard--of equal scale!

Oh, for a Bard of awful words,
And lungs serenely strong,
To sweep from your sonorous chords
Niagaras of song,

Till, dinned by that tremendous strain,
The grovelling world aghast,
Should leave its paltry greed of gain,
And mend its ways ... at last!

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