Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A FISH STORY, by HENRY AUGUSTIN BEERS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A FISH STORY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A whale of great porosity
Last Line: The upward path's the steeper.
Subject(s): Fish & Fishing; Anglers

A WHALE of great porosity
And small specific gravity,
Dived down with much velocity
Beneath the sea's concavity.

But soon the weight of water
Squeezed in his fat immensity,
Which varied -- as it ought to --
Inversely as his density.

It would have moved to pity
An Ogre or a Hessian,
To see poor Spermaceti
Thus suffering compression.

The while he lay a-roaring
In agonies gigantic,
The lamp-oil out came pouring,
And greased the wide Atlantic.

(Would we'd been in the Navy,
And cruising there! Imagine us
All in a sea of gravy,
With billow oleaginous!)

At length old million-pounder,
Low on a bed of coral,
Gave his last dying flounder,
Whereto I pen this moral.

O, let this tale dramatic,
Anent the whale Norwegian
And pressure hydrostatic,
Warn you, my young collegian,

That down-compelling forces
Increase as you get deeper;
The lower down your course is,
The upward path's the steeper.

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