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'Thinketh He made it, with the sun to

match, But not the stars, the stars came other

wise; Only made clouds, winds, meteors, such

as that; Also this isle, what lives and grows there

"Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an

one as thyself.”

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['Will sprawl, now that the heat of day

is best, Flat on his belly in the pit's much mire, With elbows wide, fists clenched to prop

his chin. And, while he kicks both feet in the cool

slush, And feels about his spine small eft-things course,

5 Run in and out each arm, and make him

laugh; And while above his head a pompion

plant, Coating the cave-top as a brow its eye, Creeps down to touch and tickle hair and

beard, And now a flower drops with a bee in


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of wave;





up all,




Only, she ever sickened, found repulse Things he admires and mocks too - that At the other kind of water, not her life,

is it. (Green-dense and dim-delicious, bred o' Because, so brave, so better though they the sun),

be, Flounced back from bliss she was not born It nothing skills if He begin to plague.

to breathe, And in her old bounds buried her despair, Look now, I melt a gourd-fruit into mash, Hating and loving warmth alike: so He. Add honeycomb and pods, I have per

ceived, 'Thinketh, He made thereat the sun, this Which bite like finches when they bill and isle,

kiss; Trees and the fowls here, beast and creep Then, when froth rises bladdery, drink

ing thing: Yon otter, sleek-wet, black, lithe as Quick, quick, - till maggots scamper leech;

through my brain; Yon auk, one fire-eye in a ball of foam, Last, throw me on my back i’ the seeded That floats and feeds; a certain badger brown

And wanton, wishing I were born a bird. He hath watched hunt with that slant Put case, unable to be what I wish, white-wedge eye

I yet could make a live bird out of clay: By moonlight; and the pie with the long Would not I take clay, pinch my Caliban tongue

50 Able to Ay? — for, there, see, he hath That pricks deep into oakwarts for a wings, worm,

And great comb like the hoopoe's to adAnd says a plain word when she finds her mire; prize,

And there, a sting to do his foes ofBut will not eat the ants: the ants them

fence; selves

There, and I will that he begin to live, That build a wall of seeds and settled Fly to yon rock-top, nip me off the horns stalks

Of grigs high up that make the merry din, About their hole — He made all these Saucy through their veined wings, and

mind me not. Made all we see, and us, in spite: how In which feat, if his leg snapped, brittle else?

clay, He could not, Himself, make a second And he lay stupid-like, — why, I should self

laugh; To be His mate,

as well have made And if he, spying me, should fall to weep, Himself;

Beseech me to be good, repair his wrong. He would not make what He mislikes Bid his poor leg smart less or grow or slights,

again, An eyesore to Him, or not worth His Well, as the chance were, this might take

pains; But did, in envy, listlessness, or sport, Not take my fancy: I might hear his cry Make what Himself would fain, in a And give the mankin three sound legs

manner, be, Weaker in most points, stronger in Or pluck the other off, leave him like an few,

egg, Worthy, and yet mere playthings all the And lessoned he was mine and merely while,



and more,




or else


for one;




Were this no pleasure, lying in the

thy me, Drinking the mash, with brain become

alive, Making and marring clay at will? So


Sound this, and little birds that hate the

jay Flock within stone's throw, glad their foe

is hurt. Put case, such pipe could prattle and

boast, forsooth: "I catch the birds, I am the crafty

thing, I make the cry my maker cannot make With his great round mouth; he must

blow through mine!" Would not I smash it with my foot? So


'Thinketh, such shows nor right nor

wrong in Him, Nor kind nor cruel: He is strong and

Lord. 'Am strong myself compared to yonder

crabs That march now from the mountain to



the sea;


'Let twenty pass, and stone the twenty

first, Loving not, hating not, just choosing so. 'Say, the first straggler that boasts purple

spots Shall join the file, one pincer twisted off;

105 'Say, this bruised fellow shall receive a

worm, And two worms he whose nippers end

in red; As it likes me each time I do: so He.

But wherefore rough, why cold and ill at

ease? Aha, that is a question! Ask, for that, What knows, the something over Sete

bos That made Him; or He, may be, found

and fought, Worsted, drove off, and did to nothing,

perchance. There may be something quiet o'er His

head, Out of His reach, that feels nor joy nor

grief, Since both derive from weakness in some

way. I joy because the quails come; would not

joy Could I bring quails here when I have a

mind: This Quiet, all it hath a mind to, doth. 'Esteemeth

the outposts

of its couch; But never spends much thought nor care




that way.

Well, then, 'supposeth He is good i' the

main, Placable if His mind and ways were

guessed, But rougher than His handiwork, be

sure! Oh, He hath made things worthier than

Himself, And envieth that, so helped, such things

do more Than He who made them! What con

soles but this, That they, unless through Him, do naught at all,

115 And must submit? what other use in

things? 'Hath cut a pipe of pithless elder-joint That, blown through, gives exact the

scream o' the jay When from her wing you twitch the

feathers blue:


It may look up, work up, — the worse for

those It works on! 'Careth but for Setebos The many-handed as a cuttle-fish; Who, making Himself feared through

what He does, Looks up, first, and perceives he cannot

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Makes this a bauble-world to ape yon Why not make horny eyes no thorn could real,

prick, These good things to match those as hips Or plate my scalp with bone against the do grapes.


Or overscale my flesh 'neath joint and 'Tis solace making baubles, -ay, and joint sport.

Like an orc's armor? Ay, — so spoil His Himself peeped late, eyed Prosper at his sport! books

He is the One now: only He doth all. Careless and lofty, lord now of the isle. Vexed, 'stitched a book of broad leaves, Saith, He may like, perchance, what arrow-shaped,

profits him. Wrote thereon, he knows what, prodigious Ay, himself loves what does him good; words;

but why? Has peeled a wand and called it by a 'Gets good no otherwise, This blinded name;

beast Weareth at whiles, for an enchanter's Loves whoso places flesh-meat on his nose; robe,

But, had he eyes, would want no help, but The eyed skin of a supple oncelot;

hate And hath an ounce sleeker than young Or love just as it liked him: He hath eyes ling mole,

Also it pleases Setebos to work, A four-legged serpent he makes cower Use all His hands, and exercise much and couch,

craft, Now snarl, now hold its breath and mind

By no

means for the love of what is

worked. And saith she is Miranda and my wife. 160 'Tasteth, himself, no finer good i the 'Keeps for his Ariel a tall pouch-bill crane world He bids go wade for fish and straight When all goes right, in this safe summerdisgorge;

time, Also a sea-beast, lumpish, which he snared, And he wants little, — hungers, aches, not Blinded the eyes of and brought somewhat much, — tame,

Than trying what to do with wit and And split its toe-webs, and now pens the strength. drudge

'Falls to make something: 'piled yon pile In a hole o' the rock, and calls him Cali of turfs; ban,

And squared and stuck there squares of A bitter heart that bides its time and soft white chalk, bites.

And, with a fish-tooth, scratched a moon 'Plays thus at being Prosper in a way,

on each; Taketh his mirth with make-believes: so And set up endwise certain

spikes of He.


And crowned the whole with a sloth's His dam held that the Quiet made all

skull a-top, things,

Found dead i' the woods, too hard for Which Setebos vexed only: 'holds not

kill. Who made them weak, meant weakness No use at all i' the work - for work's He might vex.

sole sake; Had He meant other, — while His hand 'Shall some day knock it down again: so


his eye,







was in







'Saith He is terrible: watch His feats in But steals the nut from underneath my proof!


thumb, One hurricane will spoil six good months' And, when I threat, bites stoutly in dehope.

fence; He hath a spite against me, that I know; 'Spareth an urchin that, contrariwise, Just as He favors Prosper, who knows Curls up into a ball, pretending death 230 why?

For fright at my approach: the two ways So it is, all the same, as well I find.

please. 'Wove wattles half the winter, fenced But what would move my choler more them firm

than this, With stone and stake to stop she That either creature counted on its life tortoises

Tomorrow and next day and all days to Crawling to lay their eggs here: well, one come, wave,

Saying, forsooth, in the inmost of its Feeling the foot of Him upon its neck,

heart, Gaped as a snake does, lolled out its "Because he did so yesterday with me, large tongue,

And otherwise with such another brute, And licked the whole labor Alat: so much So must he do henceforth and always.”.

for spite. 'Saw ball fame down late (yonder it 'Wo

'Would teach the reasoning couple what lies)

"must" means ! Where, half an hour before, I slept i' the 'Doth as he likes, or wherefore Lord ?' shade:

So He. Often they scatter sparkles: there is force!

'Conceiveth all things will continue thus, Dug up a newt He may have envied once And we shall have to live in fear of Him And turned to stone, shut up

inside a So long as He lives, keeps his strength: stone.


no change,

If He have done His best, make no new Please Him and hinder this? — What world Prosper does ?

To please Him more, so leave off watchAha, if He would tell me how! Not He! ing this, There is the sport: discover how If He surprise not even the Quiet's self die!

Some strange day; or, suppose, grow into All need not die, for of the things o' the it isle

As grubs grow. butterflies: else, here we Some flee afar, some dive, some run up are, trees.

And there is He, and nowhere help at Those at His mercy, — why, they please all.

Him most When ... when ... well, never try the 'Believeth, with the life the pain shall same way twice!

stop. Repeat what act has pleased, He may His dam held different, that after death grow wroth:

He both plagued enemies and feasted You must not know His ways, and play friends: Him off,

Idly! He doth His worst in this our Sure of the issue. Doth the like him

life, self:

Giving just respite lest we die through 'Spareth a squirrel that it nothing fears







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