The Bench of Boors

Original Text: 
Collected Poems of Herman Melville, ed. Howard P. Vincent (Chicago: Packard, 1947): 229-30. PS 2382 V5 Robarts Library
3    A wakeful brain
4    Elaborates pain:
5Within low doors the slugs of boors
6Laze and yawn and doze again.
7In dreams they doze, the drowsy boors,
8Their hazy hovel warm and small:
9    Thought's ampler bound
10    But chill is found:
11Within low doors the basking boors
12Snugly hug the ember-mound.
13Sleepless, I see the slumberous boors
14Their blurred eyes blink, their eyelids fall:
15    Thought's eager sight
16    Aches -- overbright!
17Within low doors the boozy boors
18Cat-naps take in pipe-bowl light.


1] Tenier: David Teniers the Younger (1610-90), a Netherlands painter whose work Melville had seen when he was in Amsterdam at the museum. Back to Line
2] losels: good-for-nothings. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: