Sonnet to a Clam

Dum tacent claimant

INGLORIOUS friend! most confident I am

Thy life is one of very little ease;
Albeit men mock thee with their similes
And prate of being happy as a clam!"
What though thy shell protects thy fragile head
From the sharp bailiffs of the briny sea?
Thy valves are, sure, no safety-valves to thee,
While rakes are free to desecrate thy bed,
And bear thee off--as foemen take their spoil--
Far from thy friends and family to roam;
Forced, like a Hessian, from thy native home,
To meet destruction in a foreign broil!
Though thou art tender yet thy humble bard
Declares, O clam! thy case is shocking hard!

John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)


Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner:

CST Approved

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