Poem: The Poet's Kiss by Henry Lawson (Part 2)

She pictured him with burning eyes,
   And heavy hair thrown back
From gloomy brows so worldly wise
   And sadly on the rack.
A wasted form -- transparent hands
   That angels might caress;
A heart that ached for many lands,
   And clean but careless dress.

She longed to take those hands of his,
   And, with her spirit, bow,
And kiss them, if she dared not kiss
   His lips, or gloomy brow.
She longed to look into his eyes,
   And ask him, with a sigh,
If they might meet in Paradise --
   And then go home and die.

They'd three green seasons after brown
   (So runs the world away);
They sent her down to Sydney town
   To have a holiday.
In fear and trembling -- yet with joy --
   In fluttering hope and doubt,
And, eager-hearted as a boy,
   She sought her poet out.

She found him too, no matter how,
   Nor does it matter where;
The gloom upon his grimy brow
   Was hidden by his hair.
The poet's words were thick and slow,
   The poet's chin was slack;
His bloodshot eyes were burning, though,
   And one of them was black.

His clothes were careless, right enough,
   But they were far from clean,
And he was, briefly -- in the rough --
   The Man He Might Have Been.
He heard her worship with a laugh,
   Her sorrow with a frown --
He scrawled a drunken autograph,
   And borrowed half-a-crown.

The sky is lead -- storm-waters whirl
   Down gullies deep and dark,
And there's a disillusioned girl
   Far out at Stringybark.
And, after all, there is a chance,
   This is a song of woe --
'Twas sung to buy a pair of pants,
   And that is all I know.

First published in The Bulletin, 13 May 1909
[Note: the first part of this poem was published last week .]

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 21, 2009 6:50 AM.

Combined Reviews: Wanting by Richard Flanagan was the previous entry in this blog.

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