Poem by James Stephens (1880-1950)
A small part only of my grief I write;
And if I do not give you all the tale
It is because my gloom gets some respite
By just a small bewailing: I bewail
That I with sly and stupid folk must bide
Who steal my food and ruin my inside.
Once I had books, each book beyond compare,
But now no book at all is left to me,
And I am spied and peeped on everywhere,
And my old head, stuffed with latinity,
And with the poet's load of grave and gay
Will not get me skim-milk for half a day.
Wild horse or quiet, not a horse have I,
But to the forest every day I go
Bending beneath a load of wood, that high!
Which raises on my back a sorry row
Of raw, red blisters; so I cry, alack,
The rider that rides me will break my back.
Ossian, when he was old and near his end,
Met Patrick by good luck, and he was stayed;
I am a poet too and seek a friend,
A prop, a staff, a comforter, an aid,
A Patrick who will lift me from despair,
In Cormac Uasal Mac Donagh of the golden hair.
More information on James Stephens
Poetry by Editorial Team
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Written on 2023-01-02 at 00:00
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