Page:Veil other poems .djvu/18

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Wheeped out his tackle from noiseless winch,
And furtive as a thief, his thumb,
With nerve intense, wound inch by inch
A line no longer numb.
What fabulous spoil could thus unplayed
Gape upward to a mortal air?—
He stoops engrossed; his tanned cheek greyed;
His heart stood still: for there,
Wondrously fairing, beneath the skin
Of secretly bubbling water seen,
Swims—not the silver of scale and fin—
But gold immixt with green.
Deeply astir in oozy bed.
The darkening mirror ripples and rocks:
And lo—a wan-pale, lovely head,
Hook tangled in its locks!
Cold from her haunt—a Naiad slim.
Shoulder and cheek gleamed ivory white;
Though now faint stars stood over him.
The hour hard on night.

Her green eyes gazed like one half-blind
In sudden radiance; her breast
Breathed the sweet air, while gently twined,
'Gainst the cold water pressed,