Littell's Living Age/Volume 173/Issue 2243/Naturæ Penetralia

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Littell's Living Age by H. C. Irwin
Volume 173, Issue 2243 : Naturæ Penetralia
Originally published in Spectator.

A sluggish little stream that loiters slow
     Between gnarled tree-trunks and thick tangled grass
     And giant reeds in a deep wet morass
For many a league, screened from the fiery glow
Of tropic sunlight; here and there a row
     Of small red bitterns, sitting patiently,
     Watch for the passing of their finny prey,
All silent as the water's voiceless flow;
Flash like live opals through the gloom a pair
     Of bronze-winged doves; and in the inmost heart
     Of this deep wilderness, alone, apart,
     With mighty limbs outstretched, and half-shut eyes,
     Lord of the pathless forest, dreaming lies
The deadly tiger in his darksome lair.