Upon an age-worn, upright stone
Of gems that once had been a part
Of some great tree's rejoicing heart
A Lizard, motionless and lone,
A glowing, living emerald shone
Of such encrusted, radiant sheen,
He reigned the monarch of the scene--
A creature nature's hand had done
When wrought the earth, and air, and sun,
In most harmonious unison.
He viewed us, as we passed him by,
With calm and yet with questioning eye,
But moveless still, as though the stone
Were portion of his being's own,
And voiceless as the forest is,
Whose jewelled ruins all are his.
The desert seemed to hold him there
As one of her supremest fair,
As one to whom our souls should owe
The best that beauty's love can know,
And with her prideful voice to say,
"See how I gem my breast of gray!"
Edward Robeson Taylor (1838-1923)