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- WHERE hast thou floated, in what seas pursu'd
- Thy pastime? When wast thou an egg new spawn'd,
- Lost in the immensity of ocean's waste?
- Roar as they might, the overbearing winds
- That rock'd the deep, thy cradle, thou wast safe--
- And in thy minikin and embryo state,
- Attach'd to the firm leaf of some salt weed,
- Didst outlive tempests, such as wrung and rack'd
- The joints of many a stout and gallant bark,
- And whelm'd them in the unexplor'd abyss.
- Indebted to no magnet and no chart,
- Nor under guidance of the polar fire,
- Thou wast a voyager on many coasts,
- Grazing at large in meadows submarine,
- Where flat Batavia just emerging peeps
- Above the brine,--where Caledonia's rocks
- Beat back the surge,--and where Hibernia shoots
- Her wondrous causeway far into the main.
- --Wherever thou hast fed, thou little thought'st,
- And I not more, that I should feed on thee.
- Peace, therefore, and good health, and much good fish,
- To him who sent thee! and success, as oft
- As it descends into the billowy gulf,
- To the same drag that caught thee!--Fare thee well!
- Thy lot thy brethern of the slimy fin
- Would envy, could they know that thou wast doom'd
- To feed a bard, and to be prais'd in verse.
- William Cowper
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