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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Eugene Lee-Hamilton b. 1845

To My Tortoise Chronos

THOU vague dumb crawler with the groping head

As listless to the sun as to the showers,

Thou very image of the wingless Hours

Now creeping past me with their feet of lead:

For thee and me the same small garden bed

Is the whole world: the same half life is ours;

And year by year, as Fate restricts my powers,

I grow more like thee, and the soul grows dead.

No, Tortoise: from thy like in days of old

Was made the living lyre; and mighty strings

Spanned thy green shell with pure vibrating gold.

The notes soared up, on strong but trembling wings,

Through ether’s lower zones; then, growing bold,

Spurned earth for ever and its wingless things.