Poem: The Conjuror by Mabel Forrest

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For me no peacock spreads its tail
With rainbow eyes of feathers made;
For me no ostrich feather fan
Plumes o'er a throne of fine brocade;
No coffee-coloured slaves kneel down   
Abased to earth beneath my frown!

No marble palaces are mine,
Pale mirrored in the lotus lake.
No elephant, coin-bonneted
Carries a howdah for my sake,
With painted head and gilded feet,
His trunk in champak blossoms sweet.

I boast no chests of jewels locked
In secret caverns for my own,
No gold Egyptian beds that lie
Beneath where Horus wings in stone.
No alabaster jars are mine   
From which the Pharaohs poured their wine.  

And, yet, I have a magic wand!
Hey! Presto! And such scenes leap up.
A Sleeping Beauty in a wood;
The Seneschal sprawls o'er his cup;
The hound lies with the hunted hare;
The hawk hangs frozen in the air!

Out of the dust of countless years
I can bring back proud Egypt's Queen,
Out of green Arden's mossy dells
Can conjure you a bunting scene,
Or, if austerer fancy wills,   
Some Buddhist temple from the hills.

Bring me a penny pot of ink,
A wooden holder and a nib,
And I will show you wizardry
To which some ancient mage was sib.
A sheet of paper to my band
-- What is it, sires, that you command?

First published in The Courier-Mail, 21 July 1934

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 12, 2011 10:32 AM.

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