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water among the stones 95
A well-built little city) -- how
quietly he lies,
In slow, slack curves, broken
by shadow, among three rocks,
Lowering his chin daintily
to the Matilija.
Having paused to judge of me
by tonguing the air,
He resumes drinking now,
letting down and lifting
His U-shaped, thin, fl at jaw.
On and on he drinks, taking
A very little at a time,
Slaking the whole length
of his thirst.
Earth's a great harsh gaunt garden
here, made of spiny chaparral,
And cliff s, bare crests, dry stony slopes,
the fan that opens, desolate,
Scattered with boulders, below
this canyon; and, running through,
Narrow, bright and chill among its stones,
the Matilija. -- Born
Somewhere in all this, on his own
from birth, in the fi t
And hard gloss of his scales,
eye of translucent, dry horn,
Or some clear stone, for his seeing, strange
but, still, seeing: