To Arthur Edmonds

Original Text: 
The Poems of John Gray, ed. Ian Fletcher (Greenboro, N.C.: ELT Press, 1988): 30. PR 6013 R367A17 Robarts Library
2On the trim grass. The daisies' leprous stain
4Though every day the gardener crops their heads.
5A wistful child, in foul unwholesome shreds,
6Recalls some legend of a daisy chain
7That makes a pretty necklace. She would fain
8Make one, and wear it, if she had some threads.
9Sun, leprous flowers, foul child. The asphalt burns.
11Sing! Sing! they say, and flutter with their wings.
12He does not sing, he only wonders why
13He is sitting there. The sparrows sing. And I
14Yield to the strait allure of simple things.


1] Arthur Edmonds: a co-worker with Gray in the Confidential Enquiry Branch, British civil service in 1883-84. Back to Line
3] burst: possibly recalling the yellow ."flowers." of smallpox. Daisies were once used to treat smallpox. Back to Line
10] metal Burns: presumably a bronze statue of the poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796). One by John Steele (1884) stands in the Victoria Embankment Gardens in London. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Silverpoints (London: Elkin Mathews and John Lane, 1893).
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: