This fluid calm in which they move
Seems even livelier than air:
Balloon-like bubbles, rising, give
An effervescent atmosphere.
Their side-set wide Egyptian eyes
Gaze out, impassive, at the green
And fern-filled world on which they browse:
Eyes edged with a soft kohl-drawn line.
Transparent fins, translucent tails,
Bodies whose chain-mail coruscates,
These scarlet fish drift through the aisles
Of algae caught with water lights.
They rise, they sink, once more they rise,
They turn, they slowly glide away
Down to the castle reared across
A chasm in this mimic sea.
And there they waver through the halls,
Their fanlike tails outspread, and there
They rest upon the throne-room sills
Until, like kings, they disappear.