The Armchair by Myra Morris

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Here from this cozy armchair by the fire
Each thing seems rare, and warm, and beautiful!
I can believe the crowded world all good;
Can think of happy people and the flowers,
Slender and sweet, from rich old garden-beds;
Of pictures and the smell of fresh-brewed tea
swimming in hollowed Wedgwood, and the sound
Of clicking spoons in saucers; and the drip
Of glowing ashes falling silverly.
Here God is very real, benignant, good,
A placid presence hovering around
The teacups with a large contended smile!

But I -- but I am sick to death of washed
Hypocrisies! This is not all, I know!
This is not all -- the shameful armchair lies!
I know that there are things unspeakable --
Dark, stinking streets with slimy gutters where
The children feed on filth, pale-eyed and wan;
And tottering houses where the drunken man,
Lustful and loud, kicks at his cowering wife;
And there are girls with weary feet who climb
Innumerable stairs -- pale girls who bend 
Above long tables in a whir of wheels,
And pack unending tins day after day,
Day after day, where nothing ever comes;
And crowded wards of hospitals marked out
In beds -- white beds with faces o'er the sheets
Ravaged and torn beneath the lash of pain,
Frightful and hungry and malevolent!

And yet this cursed chair all softly sprung
Would have me think that it was otherwise! 

First published in The Bulletin, 24 May 1923, and later in the same magazine on 3 July 1929.

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 24, 2014 12:15 PM.

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