By C. S. Calverley

By the wide lake’s margin I mark’d her lie—
The wide, weird lake where the alders sigh—
A young fair thing, with a shy, soft eye;
And I deem’d that her thoughts had flown
To her home, and her brethren, and sisters dear,
As she lay there watching the dark, deep mere,
All motionless, all alone.
Then I heard a noise, as of men and boys,
And a boisterous troop drew nigh.
Whither now will retreat those fairy feet?
Where hide till the storm pass by?
One glance—the wild glance of a hunted thing—
She cast behind her; she gave one spring;
And there follow’d a splash and a broadening ring
On the lake where the alders sigh.
She had gone from the ken of ungentle men!
Yet scarce did I mourn for that;
For I knew she was safe in her own home then,
And, the danger past, would appear again,
For she was a water-rat.

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