Thee, Mary! first 'twas lightning struck,
And then a water-vat half drowned;
But I can't think 'twas mere blind luck
Twice left for dead—twice brought thee round.
No! Fortune in her prescient mood,
I must believe, e'en then was planning
To fabricate a something good
Of Thee, the twice-saved Mary Anning.
This to fulfil she did not bid
Thy feet o'er foreign soils to roam,
For well she knew what powers lay hid
In these blue cliffs that touched thy home.
And hither led, in vain to Thee
Or marle, or rock, was insight banning;
Some folk can through a millstone see;
And so, in sooth, can Mary Anning.
Mere child as yet, this sea-beat strand
'Twas thine to wander all alone,
Upgathering in thy little hand
Chance-pebble bright, or fossil bone.
Though keenest winds were whistling round,
Though hottest suns thy cheek were tanning,
Nor suns, nor winds could check or bound
The duteous toils of Mary Anning.
At first these relic-shrouding rocks
Were but thy simple stock in trade,
Wherewith, through pain, and worldly shocks,
A widowed mother's lot to aid.