“Goldfish” by Harold Monro


They are the angels of that watery world,

With so much knowledge that they just aspire

To move themselves on golden fins,

Or fill their paradise with fire

By darting suddenly from end to end.


Glowing a thousand centuries behind

In pools half-recollected of the mind,

Their large eyes stare and stare, but do not see

Beyond those curtains of Eternity.


When twilight flows into the room

And air becomes like water, you can feel

Their movements growing larger in the gloom,

And you are led

Backward to where they live beyond the dead.


But in the morning, when the seven rays

Of London sunlight one by one incline,

They glide to meet them, and their gulping lips

Suck the light in, so they are caught and played

Like salmon on a heavenly fishing line.


Ghosts on a twilight floor,

Moving about behind their watery door,

Breathing and yet not breathing day and night,

They give the house some gleam of faint delight.


Harold Monro's poem "Goldfish" was published inĀ Georgian Poetry 1918-1919. To read this poem in this publication context, follow the link(s) below: