Friday, 14 December 2007

SHOT NO 14, by Bertram Karrasch and William Wordsworth

Itinerary poems of 1833, XVII, Isle of Man. William Wordsworth

A Youth too certain of his power to wade

On the smooth bottom of this clear bright sea

To sight so shallow, with a bather's glee

Leaped from this rock, and but for timely aid

He, by the alluring element betrayed,

Had perished. Then might Sea-nymphs (and with sighs

Of self-reproach) have chanted elegies

Bewailing his sad fate, when he was laid

In peaceful earth: for doubtless, he was frank,

Utterly in himself devoid of guile;

Knew not the double-dealing of a smile;

Nor aught that makes men's promises a blank,

Or deadly snare; and He survives to bless

The Power that saved him in his strange distress.

He has recently been a little vague,

Although they enjoyed the holiday at sea.

He told the children stories at bedtime with great glee.

So everybody was surprised to hear of the decision they made,

He and the wife he betrayed.

You can virtually hear now the reader's sighs,

The room echoing from the elegies

Of deceived husbands and wives - their fate laid

In the hand of the other. Frank,

This was the name of the wrongdoer, was full of guile.

But on his face he had a reassuring smile,

When he put the piece of paper in front of her and pointed at the blank

Space. Here to sign and you are free - again. God bless

You, darling, sorry for the distress.

No comments: