Loren Eiseley

The Trout

From Prairie Schooner

They live in cold dark water running deep
Beneath the thunder of the falling stream.
Their lives are vague and formless as a dream—
A compound of green stone and lidless sleep
Diffuse as light, impossible to keep
Within the lucid angles of a scheme
Devised by Euclid—for the glide and gleam
With thoughts all finny that forever leap.

Into the sun they hurtle, and their play
Draws down the fishers from the shelving bank.
Men do not guess what waters pull their way
Nor from what pools their lizard bellies drank
Once, ages back…nor can one man explain
What old newt eye still opens in his brain.

Reprinted from Prairie Schooner Vol XIX No 4 (Winter 1945) by permission of University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 1945 by the Wordsmiths of Sigma Upsilon.