Archive for February 3rd, 2012

Friday, 3 February 2012

There Is A Place In Distant Seas by Richard Whately

There is a place in distant seas
Full of contrarieties:
There, beasts have mallards’ bills and legs,
Have spurs like cocks, like hens lay eggs.
There parrots walk upon the ground,
And grass upon the trees is found;
On other trees, another wonder!
Leaves without upper sides or under.
There pears you’ll scarce with hatchet cut;
Stones are outside the cherries put;
Swans are not white, but black as soot.
There neither leaf, nor root, nor fruit
Will any Christian palate suit,
Unless in desperate need you’d fill ye
With root of fern and stalk of lily.
There missiles to far distance sent
Come whizzing back from whence they went;
There quadrupeds go on two feet,
And yet few quadrupeds so fleet;
There birds, although they cannot fly,
In swiftness with your greyhound vie.
With equal wonder you may see
The foxes fly from tree to tree;
And what they value most, so wary,
These foxes in their pockets carry.
There the voracious ewe-sheep crams
Her paunch with flesh of tender lambs,
Instead of beef, and bread, and broth,
Men feast on many a roasted moth.
The north winds scorch, but when the breeze is
Full from the south, why then it freezes;
The sun when you to face him turn ye,
From right to left performs his journey.
Now of what place could such strange tales
Be told with truth save New South Wales?—


Date: 1846

By: Richard Whately (1787-1863)