William Beckford (1760-1844)

Elegiac Sonnet to a Mopstick

Straight remnant of the spiry birchen bough,
That over the streamlet wont perchance to quake
Thy many twinkling leaves and, bending low,
Beheld thy white rind dancing on the lake--
How doth thy present state, poor stick! awake
My pathos--for, alas! even stripped as thou
May be my beating breast, if ever forsake
Philisto this poor heart; and break his vow.

So musing on, I fare with many a sigh
And meditating then on times long past,
To thee, lorn pole! I look with tearful eye,
As all beside the floor-soiled pail thou art cast;
And my sad thoughts, while I behold thee twirled,
Turn on the twistings of this troublous world.