Two Poems by Enoch Soames
from Fungoids (1894)


TO A YOUNG WOMAN

Thou art, who hast not been!
Pale tunes irresolute
And traceries of old sounds
Blown from a rotted þute
Mingle with noise of cymbals rouged with rust,
Nor not strange forms and epicene
Lie bleeding in the dust,
Being wounded with wounds.
 
For this it is
That in thy counterpart
Of age-long mockeries
Thou hast not been nor art!

 

NOCTURNE

Round and round the shutter'd Square
I strolled with the Devil's arm in mine.
No sound but the scrape of his hoofs was there
And the ring of his laughter and mine.
We had drunk black wine.
 
I scream'd, 'I will race you, Master!'
'What matter,' he shriek'd, 'to-night
Which of us runs the faster?
There is nothing to fear to-night
In the foul moon's light!'
 
Then I look'd him in the eyes,
And I laugh'd full shrill at the lie he told
And the gnawing fear he would fain disguise.
It was true, what I'd time and again been told:
He was old&emdash;old.

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