I have found out a gift for my fair;
I know where the fossils abound,
Where the footprints of Aves declare
The birds that once walked on the ground.
Oh, come, and--in technical speech--
We'll walk this Devonian shore,
Or on some Silurian beach
We'll wander, my love, evermore.

I will show thee the sinuous track
By the slow-moving Annelid made,
Or the Trilobite that, farther back,
In the old Potsdam sandstone was laid;
Thou shalt see, in his Jurassic tomb,
The Plesiosaurus embalmed;
In his Oolitic prime and his bloom,
Iguanodon safe and unharmed.

You wished--I remember it well,
And I loved you the more for that wish--
For a perfect cystedian shell
And a WHOLE holocephalic fish.
And oh, if Earth's strata contains
In its lowest Silurian drift,
Or palaeozoic remains
The same, 'tis your lover's free gift!

Then come, love, and never say nay,
But calm all your maidenly fears;
We'll note, love, in one summer's day
The record of millions of years;
And though the Darwinian plan
Your sensitive feelings may shock,
We'll find the beginning of man,
Our fossil ancestors, in rock!

About Francis Bret Harte

Francis Bret Harte was an American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California. He was born in Albany, New York, as Francis Brett Hart. He was named after his great-grandfather Francis Brett, and his family name was Hart. When he was young his father changed the spelling of the family name from Hart to Harte. Later, Francis preferred to be known by his middle name, but he spelled it with only one "t", becoming Bret Harte. He moved to California in 1853, later working there in a number of capacities, including miner, teacher, messenger,... Read more...

Poet of the day

Jessie Pope was an English poet, writer and journalist, who remains best known for her patriotic motivational poems published during World War I. Wilfred OwenSiegfried Sassoon has grown.

Early Career

Born in Leicester, she was educated at North London Collegiate School. She was a regular contributor to Punch, The Daily...

Poem of the day

Pour tous ― elle excepté ― ma vie a son mystère :
Un amour éternel depuis longtemps conçu.
Mon cœur en débordait ; pourtant j'ai dû le taire :
Nul profane ici-bas n'en a jamais rien su.

À distance je vis, discret, inaperçu ;
On me...