Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
I. To a Clam
By John Godfrey Saxe (1816–1887)
Dum tacent clamant

INGLORIOUS friend! most confident I am
  Thy life is one of very little ease;
  Albeit men mock thee with their similes,
And prate of being “happy as a clam”!
What though thy shell protects thy fragile head        5
  From the sharp bailiffs of the briny sea?
  Thy valves are, sure, no safety-valves to thee,
While rakes are free to desecrate thy bed,
And bear thee off,—as foemen take their spoil,—
  Far from thy friends and family to roam;        10
  Forced, like a Hessian, from thy native home,
To meet destruction in a foreign broil!
  Though thou art tender, yet thy humble bard
  Declares, O clam! thy case is shocking hard!

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