Poem: My Old Typewriter by M. Forrest

Carry it out, for its work is done,
   The strength has gone from the worn-out keys
That tried to capture a shaft of sun,
   Or click a rhyme of the morning breeze.
Dead are the eleves who used to play
   At hide-and-seek in the notes by night,
And the clang of the bell is no more gay,
   And the small dead fairies look so white!

You have toiled in your time, my old machine,
   Catching the Thought for the printer's ink;
When the scrapheap gathers what once has been
   There is rosemary laid on your board, I think;
And old hates rise up in a flash of flame,
   Old, angry words that you have clashed forth;
And old loves lie low with a cheek of shame
   That we should have forgotten - both love and wrath!

The tethered poem, the story-tale,
   The pixie fancy, the frothy jest,
And the pleading word that could not avail,
   It has gone to the scrapheap with the rest!
Did your weak wires lock? Were you in disgrace?
   A feeble, dodering, spent machine?
Was it time that you hid your battered face
   Where the grave of your youth is smooth and green?

Typesetters over my manuscript
   Will at least rejoice that you cease to be;
To hieroglyphics you often tripped,
   And your aim was sometimes a mystery.
But only I know what you were to me,
   And only I know (with a half-despair,
For empty moments which yet may be)
   How many fairies lie buried there!

First published in The Bulletin, 28 December 1916

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 16, 2005 10:40 AM.

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