On A Shadow In A Glass Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


By something form'd I nothing amA
Yet everything that you can nameB
In no place have I ever beenC
Yet everywhere I may be seenD
In all things false yet always trueE
I'm still the same but ever newE
Lifeless life's perfect form I wearF
Can show a nose eye tongue or earG
Yet neither smell see taste or hearG
All shapes and features I can boastH
No flesh no bones no blood no ghostH
All colours without paint put onI
And change like the cameleonI
Swiftly I come and enter thereF
Where not a chink lets in the airF
Like thought I'm in a moment goneI
Nor can I ever be aloneI
All things on earth I imitateJ
Faster than nature can createJ
Sometimes imperial robes I wearF
Anon in beggar's rags appearK
A giant now and straight an elfL
I'm every one but ne'er myselfL
Ne'er sad I mourn ne'er glad rejoiceM
I move my lips but want a voiceM
I ne'er was born nor e'er can dieN
Then pr'ythee tell me what am IN
Most things by me do rise and fallO
And as I please they're great and smallO
Invading foes without resistanceP
With ease I make to keep their distanceP
Again as I'm disposed the foeQ
Will come though not a foot they goQ
Both mountains woods and hills and rocksR
And gamesome goats and fleecy flocksR
And lowing herds and piping swainsR
Come dancing to me o'er the plainsR
The greatest whale that swims the seaR
Does instantly my power obeyS
In vain from me the sailor fliesR
The quickest ship I can surpriseR
And turn it as I have a mindT
And move it against tide and windT
Nay bring me here the tallest manI
I'll squeeze him to a little spanI
Or bring a tender child and pliantU
You'll see me stretch him to a giantU
Nor shall they in the least complainI
Because my magic gives no painI

Jonathan Swift


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