Ballade un peu banale
. J. M. Smith, The Complete Poems, ed. Brian Trehearne (London, Ontario: Canadian Poetry Press, 2007): .
1The bellow of good Master Bull
2 Astoundeth gentil Cow
3That standeth in the meadow cool
4 Where cuckoo singeth now.
5She stoppeth in a moony trance
6 Beneath the timeless trees
7While ebon-bellied shad-flies dance
8 About her milk-white knees.
9He snuffeth her from distant field--
10 Sly Farmer Pimp approves:
11To him the gates and latches yield;
12 He smiles upon their loves
13Bull boometh from the briary bush,
14 Advanceth, tail aloft--
15The meadow grass is long and lush,
16 The oozy turf is soft.
17He stampeth with his foremost foot,
18 His nostrils breathing bale;
19Uncouth, unhallowed is his suit;
20 The vestal turneth tail.
21He feinteth with his ivory horn,
22 Bites rump, bites flank, bites nape--
23Sweet Saviour of a Virgin born,
24 How shall this maid escape!
25He chaseth her to pasture wall;
26 She maketh stand, poor bird!
27He wields his tail like an iron flail.
28 Alas! he presseth hard!
29 * * *
30I like to think sweet Jesu Christ,
31 For His dear Mother's sake,
32By some miraculous device,
33 Her to Himself did take;
34That her preserv'd Virginity
35 Flutes holy flats and sharps
36In that divine vicinity
RPO poem Editors:
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
Copyright © the estate of A.J.M. Smith. Included
with the generous permission of William Toye, his literary executor.