THE OLD ANGLER
Her lean webbed hands. She floated there.
Light as a scentless petalled flower,
Water-drops dewing from her hair
In tinkling beadlike shower.
So circling sidelong, her tender throat
Uttered a grieving, desolate wail;
Shrill o'er the dark pool lapsed its note.
Piteous as nightingale.
Ceased Echo. And he?—a life's remorse
Welled to a tongue unapt to charm,
But never a word broke harsh and hoarse
To quiet her alarm.
With infinite stealth his twitching thumb
Tugged softly at the tautened gut,
Bubble-light, fair, her lips now dumb,
She moved, and struggled not;
But with set, wild, unearthly eyes
Pale-gleaming, fixed as if in fear.
She couched in the water, with quickening sighs.
And floated near.
In hollow heaven the stars were at play;
Wan glow-worms greened the pool-side grass;
Dipped the wide-bellied boat. His prey
Gazed on; nor breathed. Alas!—