W. H. Auden (from “Shorts”)[ed.] The context here is Bishop singing to the seal in "At the Fishhouses":
Many creatures make nice noises,
but none, it seems,
are moved by music.
in the margin, E. Bishop:
no — seals are
Cold dark deep and absolutely clear,element bearable to no mortal,to fish and to seals . . . One seal particularlyI have seen here evening after evening.He was curious about me. He was interested in music;like me a believer in total immersion,so I used to sing him Baptist hymns.I also sang “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”He stood up in the water and regarded mesteadily, moving his head a little.Then he would disappear, then suddenly emergealmost in the same spot, with a sort of shrugas if it were against his better judgment.