The Philanthropist and the Jelly-fish

Her beauty, passive in despair,
Through sand and seaweed shone,
The fairest jelly-fish I e'er
Had set mine eyes upon.

It would have made a stone abuse
The callousness of fate,
This creature of prismatic hues,
Stranded and desolate!

Musing I said: " My mind's unstrung,
Joy, hope, are in their grave:
Yet ere I perish all unsung
One jelly-fish I'll save!"

And yet I fancied I had dreamed
Of somewhere having known
Or met, a jelly-fish that seemed
As utterly alone.

But ah, if ever out to sea
That jelly-fish I bore,
Immediately awaited me
A level hundred more!

I knew that it would be in vain
To try to float them all;
And though my nature is humane,
I felt that it would pall.

Yet this one jelly-fish," I cried,
I'll rescue if I may.
I'll wade out with her through the tide
And leave her in the bay."

I paused, my feelings to control,
To wipe away a tear —
It seemed to me a murmur stole
Out of the crystal sphere.

She said: " Your culture's incomplete,
Though your intention's kind;
The sand, the seaweed, and the heat
I do not really mind.

" To wander through the briny deep
I own I do not care;
I somehow seem to go to sleep
Here, there, or anywhere.

" When wild waves tossed me to and fro,
I never felt put out;
I never got depressed and low,
Or paralysed by doubt.

" 'Twas not the ocean's soothing balm.
Ah no, 'twas something more!
I'm just as peaceful and as calm
Here shrivelling on the shore.

" It does not matter what may come,
I'm dead to woe or bliss:
I haven't a Sensorium,
And that is how it is."
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.