We loved her with a pale sardonic love--
The way she kept our thoughts on things above,
Etherealized our bodies by attrition,
The way she proved, despite our apprehensions,
That all she did was with the best intentions.
It's twenty-seven years ago today,
That sainted Angelina passed away,
Answering the summons of an evening bell.
Her soul or wraith or whatsoe'er it be,
That's left from her corporeality,
Spun out upon its voyage. Whither? Well,
It matters not: but this one thing we know,
That most unhappy would the old nurse be,
If somehow she were not allowed to go
Throughout the nurseries of the nebulæ,
Stalking at will, administrative, grim,
With spoon or cup in hand full to the brim
With oil designed for the felicity
Of young and fever-spotted cherubim.
DAWN from the Foretop! Dawn from the Barrel!
A scurry of feet with a roar overhead;
The master-watch wildly pointing to Northward,
Where the herd in front of The Eagle was spread!
Steel-planked and sheathed like a battleship's nose,
She battered her path through the drifting floes;
Past slob and growler we drove, and rammed her
Into the heart of the patch and jammed her.
There were hundreds of thousands of seals, I'd swear,
In the stretch of that field--"white harps" to spare
For a dozen such fleets as had left that spring
To share in the general harvesting.
The first of the line, we had struck the main herd;