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Bat Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Bat by Emily Dickinson
  2. The Bat by S. Waddington
  3. An Inconvenience by John B. Tabb

  1. The Bat

    by Emily Dickinson

    The bat is dun with wrinkled wings
    Like fallow article,
    And not a song pervades his lips,
    Or none perceptible.

    His small umbrella, quaintly halved,
    Describing in the air
    An arc alike inscrutable, —
    Elate philosopher!

    Deputed from what firmament
    Of what astute abode,
    Empowered with what malevolence
    Auspiciously withheld.

    To his adroit Creator
    Ascribe no less the praise;
    Beneficent, believe me,
    His eccentricities.

  2. The Bat

    by S. Waddington

    Sleek, faery creature,
    Strange freak of Nature
    That through the twilight comes and goes,
    Could we the mystery
    Of thy life's history
    Resolve, and learn what no man knows,
    From what weird forces,
    What hidden sources,
    Thy winged soul sprang into being
    Then might we clearly
    Divine more nearly
    The world that lies beyond our seeing.

    Quaint, mimic angel!
    Thy new evangel
    Disclose, and share it now with me,
    While through the gloaming
    Thus lightly roaming,
    Thou flittest round this old oak tree;
    Tell me what Ages,
    What Cosmic stages,
    Evolved thy Spirit in the Past;
    The far stars glisten,—
    Speak, for I listen;
    Teach me the Wisdom that thou hast.

    Nay, spectral flitter,
    Where glow-worms glitter,
    Thou art more silent than the sphinx;
    Through eras ended
    Thou hast descended
    Down from the sphere of 'missing links',—
    Like pterodactyl
    Thy race runs back till
    The distance foils our dazèd sight,
    To prehistoric,
    Rude, allegoric,
    Brute offspring of the Infinite.

    The Past hath vanished,
    From memory banished,
    What of the Future canst thou tell?
    In words aesthetic,
    Sage and prophetic,
    Our doubting and our fears dispel;
    When life is over
    Shall Darkness cover
    Thy twilight wanderings with the Night,—
    Or from Death's portal
    Wilt thou immortal
    Speed forth into the realm of light?

    Mute mystic rover!
    Could we discover
    Thy wisdom though thou answer'st not,
    There is no human,
    Or man or woman,
    But hath the knowledge thou hast got;
    We know we know not!
    The gods bestow not
    On thee a wider, clearer view;—
    Thou art surrounded,
    On all sides bounded,
    By thine own ignorance,—adieu!

  3. An Inconvenience

    by John B. Tabb

    To his cousin the Bat
    Squeaked the envious Rat,
    "How fine to be able to fly!"
    Tittered she, "Leather wings
    Are convenient things;
    But nothing to sit on have I."

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