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Poem by John Godfrey Saxe

Sonnet to a Clam

    Dum tacent clamant

INGLORIOUS friend! most confident I am
    Thy life is one of very little ease; 
    Albeit men mock thee with their similes 
And prate of being "happy as a clam!"
What though thy shell protects thy fragile head
    From the sharp bailiffs of the briny sea? 
    Thy valves are, sure, no safety-valves to thee, 
While rakes are free to desecrate thy bed,
And bear thee off--as foemen take their spoil--
    Far from thy friends and family to roam; 
    Forced, like a Hessian, from thy native home, 
To meet destruction in a foreign broil!
    Though thou art tender yet thy humble bard 
    Declares, O clam! thy case is shocking hard!

John Godfrey Saxe

John Godfrey Saxe's other poems:
  1. To My Love
  2. My Familiar
  3. A Persian Tale
  4. Rhyme of the Rail
  5. Do I Love Thee?

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