The Ugly Duckling by Edward Davison

At last the cygnet, preening his plumed snow,
Wins the mid-stream. Mark his new beauty well!
Erect, uplit he sails; in the clear flow

Reflected, breast and wing,
And proud beak winnowing
The April air, all carved like a sea-shell.

Out of deformity he grew to this
Divinest form, burgeoning on the stream,
A living water-flower. He scorned the hiss

And cackle in those ranks
That watched him from the banks;
He knew what seed he was: he had his dream.

And the dream raised the seed and moulded him
In its own secret image, secretly:
Refashioned him, curved serpentine and slim

That delicate white neck
Feathered without a fleck,
Taught him his poise, shaped him the thing you see.

O Thou that shepherdest the waddling geese
Upon the flowery banks of Helicon,
Bid the hoarse gabble, the upbraiding, cease,

And guide Thy flock to see
How lonely and leisurely
Sails on this sunny river the young swan.

From: http://www.archive.org/stream/mercurybookofver031179mbp/mercurybookofver031179mbp_djvu.txt

Date: 1926

By: Edward Davison (1898-1970)

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