Lo! In the mute, mid wilderness,
What wondrous creature? – of no kind! –
His burning lair doth largely press –
Gaze fixt – and feeding on the wind?
From his stately forehead springs
Piercing to heaven, a radiant horn, –
Lo! The compeer of lion-kings!
The steer self-armed, the Unicorn!
Ever heard of, never seen,
With a main of sands between
Him and approach; his lonely pride
To course his arid arena wide,
Free as the hurricane, or lie here
Lord of his couch as his career! –
Wherefore should this foot profane
His sanctuary, still domain?
Let me turn, ere eye so bland
Perchance be fire-shot, like heaven’s brand,
To wither my boldness! Northward now,
Behind the white star on his brow
Glittering straight against the sun,
Far athwart his lair I run.George Darley (1795 – 1846) The Unicorn