JAMES RIVER: STUFFY OLD FOOLS

I wandered foolish and dowdy
Floating over everything, and eering my hearty valves and over hills,
When all to once—I spied a shroud,
The most; of a golden fish kill!
Beside the lake, beneath the behemoth trees
No longer fluttering—no longer in water dancing—but what putrid stink in the breeze!

 

Continuous with blown dazzling flies and shellacking the lake as the shine off jars
Twinkling onto the milky, fishy way
They stretched godless in a never-denying defaming way
Along the margin: O how I wish’t to be be-gone, but they went beyond the bay.
A trying ten thousand I saw no longer of finny dance

 

Weavings beat their flattened, stiffening sides, and eyes stare at a godless sky
Out-did they in sparkling more bling than bang; more gore without cavities tore
How unpoetic, death en-mass, horrid and only to flies: be gay.
In such jocund rotting fecund muddling by the second company…
Eyes all open and glazed, I gazed at guts swollen with gas, but little doubt, little thought
What wealthy of nature, what loss shown to man, what hell brought to a pastoral
Tore my morn to mourn—surpassed.