UW – “…Free as the hurricane…”

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

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