Samuel Johnson

The minds of some men are familiar lands
With mountains, rivers, moors, long winding roads,
Meadows, forest tracks and desert sands,
Vipers and hornets, scorpions and toads.
His mind was like a thundering sky at times,
A tempest, tidal wave, a storm at sea;
Again it was a campanile of chimes,
A quiet lake, a zephyr on the lea,
A picture gallery, a treasury
Of antique volumes curiously clept,
The archive of a scholar's memory
In which the whole of English speech was kept.
In company, if wit and sense declined,
What vast supply in that Bodleian mind!

About Wiley Clements

Wiley Clements has had work in Per Contra, First Things, The New Formalist and The Pennsylvania Review. A full-length collection of his poems, entitled Yesterday, or Long Ago, was published in 2004. He lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.