Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)


By Algernon Charles Sin-Burn
  Strange beauty, eight-limbed and eight-handed,
  Whence camest to dazzle our eyes?
  With thy bosom bespangled and banded
  With the hues of the seas and the skies;
  Is thy home European or Asian,
  O mystical monster marine?
  Part molluscous and partly crustacean,
  Betwixt and between.
  Wast thou born to the sound of sea trumpets?
  Hast thou eaten and drunk to excess
 Of the sponges -- thy muffins and crumpets,
  Of the seaweed -- thy mustard and cress?
 Wast thou nurtured in caverns of coral,
  Remote from reproof or restraint?
 Art thou innocent, art thou immoral,
  Sinburnian or Saint?

 Lithe limbs, curling free, as a creeper
  That creeps in a desolate place,
 To enroll and envelop the sleeper
  In a silent and stealthy embrace,
 Cruel beak craning forward to bite us,
  Our juices to drain and to drink,
 Or to whelm us in waves of Cocytus,
  Indelible ink!

 O breast, that 'twere rapture to writhe on!
  O arms 'twere delicious to feel
 Clinging close with the crush of the Python,
  When she maketh her murderous meal!
 In thy eight-fold embraces enfolden,
  Let our empty existence escape,
 Give us death that is glorious and golden,
  Crushed all out of shape!

 Ah! thy red lips, lascivious and luscious,
  With death in their amorous kiss,
 Cling round us, and clasp us, and crush us,
  With bitings of agonised bliss;
 We are sick with the poison of pleasure,
  Dispense us the potion of pain;
 Ope thy mouth to its uttermost measure
  And bite us again!

Font size:

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:16 min read

Arthur Clement Hilton

Arthur Clement Hilton was an Anglican priest, and an English poet who wrote nonsense verse. He attended Marlborough College and St. John's College, Cambridge. He graduated in 1873 from Wells Theological Seminary, and was ordained a deacon in 1874 and a priest in 1875. He earned a M.A. from Cambridge in 1876. He died suddenly in 1877. more…

All Arthur Clement Hilton poems | Arthur Clement Hilton Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Arthur Clement Hilton poem with the community:



    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


    "Octopus" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/3803/octopus>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    Browse Poetry.com


    Are you a poetry master?

    Who wrote the poem "A Dream Within A Dream"?
    • A. William Blake
    • B. Edgar Allan Poe
    • C. Percy Bysshe Shelley
    • D. Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets