James Watt to the Spirit of His Kettle

by Eugene Lee-Hamilton

Eugene Lee-Hamilton

I sit beside the hearth, and, for an hour,

I watch the steam that shakes the kettle's lid,

Like some live thing that struggles hard to rid

Its limbs of bondage, and assert its power.

Yea, like some fiend that Solomon made cower,

And who, for countless centuries was bid

Dwell in a bottle which the deep sea hid,

Where, tight compressed, it panted still to tower:

What if this vapour were a stronger thing

Than all the genii cast into the sea

And curst for ever by the Wizard King?

And what if I one day should set it free,

And break the seal of Solomon's own ring,

And make the Daemon do my drudgery?

Last updated January 14, 2019