Lucy at Mortlake

What human trespass can limit the broad light bark
that served at first in any twenty capacities
to have her body sumptuously wound up?
Nothing that is vast, no thought by which the hand-writing
that was nature, or to be mistaken by us
for nature after death entered into
that orphan, so sifted and strained
and broken by servants,
the remainders of worthiest men.
Must it be shed, adored, not touched?
Must she be treated as relics are?
O Let me pass through the hidden pylons of your instruments.
I should delight in seeing with my own eyes,
a revolution, or a pouter king,
in the pale auspices. And you,
ever smiling, eager to draw us on:
a pigeon with a crop, raw corn and meat.

Copyright 1996 Ern Malley

Last modified 20 March 1996