Magnifying Glass

Ninety-three Degrees in the Shade. William Adolphe Bouguereau.


Magnifying Glass

Walter de la Mare


With this round glass

I can make magic talk—

A myriad shell show

In a scrap of chalk;


Of but an inch of moss

A forest—flowers and trees;

A drop of water

Like a hive of bees.


I lie in wait and watch

How the deft spider jets

The woven web-silk

From his spinnerets;


What tigerish claws he has!

And oh, the silly flies

That stumble into his snare—

With all those eyes!


Not even the tiniest thing

By this my magic glass

Will make more marvelous

And itself surpass.


Yes, and with lenses like it,

Eyeing the moon,

‘Twoud seem you’d walk there

In an afternoon!


‘Magnifying Glass’ was published in Bells and Grass, a 1941 collection of Walter de la Mare’s poems for children.