Edwin Markham

(23 April 1852 - 7 March 1940 / Oregon City, Oregon)

The Lizard


I sit among the hoary trees
With Aristotle on my knees
And turn with serious hand the pages,
Lost in the cobweb-hush of ages;
When suddenly with no more sound
Than any sunbeam on the ground,
The little hermit of the place
Is peering up into my face—
The slim gray hermit of the rocks,
With bright, inquisitive, quick eyes,
His life a round of harks and shocks,
A little ripple of surprise.

Now lifted up, intense and still,
Sprung from the silence of the hill
He hangs upon the ledge a-glisten.
And his whole body seems to listen!
My pages give a little start,
And he is gone! to be a part
Of the old cedar's crumpled bark.
A mottled scar, a weather mark!

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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