Ben King's Verse/The Mermaid

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Ben King's Verse by Benjamin Franklin King
The Mermaid

Sweet mermaid of the incomparable eyes,
Surpassing glimpses of the April skies.
Thy form, ah, maid of the billowy deep!
So rare and fair, but to possess I'd creep
Where the old octopus deep in his briny haunts
Comes forth to feed on anything he wants;
Where mollusks crawl and cuttlefish entwine,
There on crustaceans be content to dine.
What ecstacies in some calcareous valley,
Had I but scales like thee 'tis there we'd dally,
There seek each peak and let no other bliss
Be more enchanting than one salt-sea kiss;
There sit and bask in love, and sigh, and feel
Each other's fins throb, or perhaps we'd steal
To some lone cavern. I suppose you know a
Place where we could pluck the polyzoa,
Or in your boudoir by your mirror there
I'd comb the seaweed from your auburn hair.
But hush! A red-haired mermaid sister comes this
   way,
And lashing with her tail the wavelets into sray.
Cometh she alone o'er yonder watery pampas?
Oh, no. By Jove! There comes the white hippo-
   campus.