Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

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Tizer
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Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Tizer »

For those of you not already familiar with the poem here is `The nautilus and the ammonite'. These were similar creatures but the ammonites died out in the geological past and we only know them from their fossils; the nautilus still survives in our oceans.

The nautilus and the ammonite

The nautilus and the ammonite
Were launched in friendly strife,
Each sent to float in its tiny boat
On the wide, wide sea of life.

For each could swim on the ocean's brim,
And, when wearied, its sail could furl,
And sink to sleep in the great sea-deep,
In its palace all of pearl.

And theirs was a bliss more fair than this
Which we taste in our colder clime;
For they were rife in a tropic life —
A brighter and better clime.

They swam 'mid isles whose summer smiles
Were dimmed by no alloy;
Whose groves were palm, whose air was balm,
And life one only joy.

They sailed all day through creek and bay,
And traversed the ocean deep;
And at night they sank on a coral bank,
In its fairy bowers to sleep.

And the monsters vast of ages past
They beheld in their ocean caves;
They saw them ride in their power and pride,
And sink in their deep-sea graves.

And hand in hand, from strand to strand,
They sailed in mirth and glee;
These fairy shells, with their crystal cells,
Twin sisters of the sea.

And they came at last to a sea long past,
But as they reached its shore,
The Almighty's breath spoke out in death,
And the ammonite was no more.

So the nautilus now in its shelly prow,
As over the deep it strays,
Still seems to seek, in bay and creek,
Its companion of other days.

And alike do we, on life's stormy sea,
As we roam from shore to shore,
Thus tempest-tossed, seek the loved, the lost,
And find them on earth no more.

Yet the hope how sweet, again to meet,
As we look to a distant strand,
Where heart meets heart, and no more they part
Who meet in that better land.

[Anon]
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Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Stanley »

Did they add to oil reserves?
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Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

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No, petroleum is derived from microscopic marine algae and the faecal pellets of microscopic marine animals that sank down to the bottom of the oceans over millions of years and were crushed and heated under the weight of later sediments. The long carbon chains of the fatty acids were gradually changed into the long carbon chains of paraffins, which we know as petroleum or crude oil.
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Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Tripps »

Speaking of the deep sea - try this from R. Kipling. Can't say I fully understand the last line, but great use of words.

(The Deep-Sea Cables was originally published in 1896 by Methuen & Co. in The Seven Seas) -

The wrecks dissolve above us; their dust drops down from afar—
Down to the dark, to the utter dark, where the blind white sea-snakes are.
There is no sound, no echo of sound, in the deserts of the deep,
Or the great grey level plains of ooze where the shell-burred cables creep.
Here in the womb of the world— here on the tie-ribs of earth
Words, and the words of men, flicker and flutter and beat—
Warning, sorrow and gain, salutation and mirth—
For a Power troubles the Still that has neither voice nor feet.
They have wakened the timeless Things; they have killed their father Time;
Joining hands in the gloom, a league from the last of the sun.
Hush! Men talk to-day o’er the waste of the ultimate slime,
And a new Word runs between: whispering, ‘Let us be one!’
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Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by hartley353 »

They don't write them like that any more a true wordsmith.
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Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Stanley »

David, they were more optimistic in those days and the international telegraph cables were seen as a hope for the future in that if nations could communicate easily they would be more likely to work together for peace. Never happened of course......
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Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Tizer »

I forgot to mention in my first post above that in Mrs Tiz's family the nautilus is always pronounced as the `naughty lass'!

Here's another fossil poem, about the Iguanadon (pronounced ig-WAN-o-don)...

Iguanodon, Iguanodon,
Whatever made you fade,
You've travelled on, Iguanodon,
We wish you could have stayed.

Iguanodon, Iguanodon,
We've sought you everywhere,
Both here and yon, Iguanodon,
But failed to find you there.

Iguanodon, Iguanodon,
You were a gentle kind,
But now you're gone, Iguanodon,
And left your bones behind.

(by Jack Prelutsky)
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Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Stanley »

I suspect the 'Goanna' that my dad harnessed to a toy cart over 100 years ago in Oz was a distant relation....
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Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

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I used the site search to look for poetry the other day and it failed miserably, so thanks to Ian for pointing me at this.... Good stuff!
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Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Stanley »

This is the nearest we have to Kipling KoRner so here goes.... But not with Kipling. For many years I thought this was by him but of course now know better.

'Cargoes'

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amethysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

John Masefield
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Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

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Stanley wrote: 11 Jul 2023, 14:04 'Cargoes'

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
This was made into a song by George Altham our music teacher and performed by the sixth formers at the yearly prize giving. Went down with three encores.
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Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Stanley »

What a great thing to do! I'd have liked to hear that....
Thanks for that Ken.
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Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Stanley »

One of my favourite short poems.
'Twas an evening in November,
As I very well remember,
I was strolling down the street in drunken pride,
But my knees were all a-flutter,
So I landed in the gutter,
And a pig came up and lay down by my side.

Yes, I lay there in the gutter,
Thinking thoughts I could not utter,
When a colleen passing by did softly say:
"Ye can tell a man that boozes
By the company he chooses.'
At that the pig got up and walked away!

(anonymous, thought to be Irish.)
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Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by plaques »

And the pig got up and slowly walked away. Frank Crumit And the pig
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Re: Poem: The nautilus and the ammonite

Post by Stanley »

Nice one Ken..... :biggrin2:
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