"My Friends"

Original Text: 

The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur, ed. Elizabeth Perkins (London, Sydney and Melbourne: Angus & Robertson, 1984): 114-15.

1'Tis a very sad thing to be true,
2That so soon as our years are not very few,
3We cannot say simply -- "My Friends," even while
4The cheek may be decked in a fair-weather smile,
5And be, at the same time, exempt
6From a twinge of contempt.
7The phrase may not stick in our throats exactly,
9Yet rarely it sounds itself forth compactly,
10But grates in the passage, and lengthens our breath,
11As if it were forced uphill:
12Making us feel -- not at all lyrical,
13But bitterish rather, and somewhat satirical,
14Even against our will.

Notes

8] "Amen" of Macbeth: After having murdered Duncan, Shakespeare's Macbeth wishes to say "Amen" in response to a blessing said by others, but the word stuck in his throat. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Cameron LaFollette
RPO Edition: 
2012
Rhyme: 
Form: