14. “In Africa, about the fountain’s brink”

“In Africa, about the fountain’s brink,
Where beasts assemble, none presumes to drink
Until they see the stately unicorn,
Who stirs the poisonous waters with his horn.”
ll. 1-4.

Image of a unicorn

Unicorn. 1658. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 22, 2013. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/p15195coll18/item/33.

An early modern depiction of the unicorn from Edward Topsell’s The History of four-footed beasts and serpents (London, 1658). Topsell describes various myths surrounding the unicorn, including the power of their horn to protect from poison, and the fact that they “above all other creatures, do reverence Virgins and young Maids” (p. 557).

Rebekah King