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!
- 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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