Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

All done with mirrors

One Friday morning when we set sail

and our ship not far from land

(Navigation was always a difficult art,

Though with only one ship and one bell.)

we there did espy a fair pretty maid

with a comb and a glass in her hand.

See the pretty girl in that mirror there—

Who can that attactive girl be?

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

Mirror mirror on the wall

who is the fairest of them all?

(The cruel looking-glass that will never show a lass

As comely or as kindly or as young as what she was!)

I am not cruel, only truthful—

The eye of the little god, four cornered.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.

Out flew the web and floated wide;

The mirror crack’d from side to side.

I look into the mirror, but it’s cracked

And won’t be fixed and always did refract

The one before it into at least two.