The Showmen

Original Text: 

Wilfrid Thorley, Fleurs de Lys: A Book of French Poetry Freely Translated into English Verse. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1920. 207-08. Internet Archive.

1Like to a dismal brute, dust-smothered, teased.
2    That tugs its chain and bays the blistering sky,
3    Trail thy torn heart who will in the foul sty
4That so the lewd, flesh-ravening mob be pleased;
5Let Love's own veil of glorious light be seized
6    And torn from shuddering limbs divinely shy,
7    That so the fire rekindle its dull eye,
8Its mirth and boorish pity be appeased!
9Though proud and silent graveward I go hence,
10    I'd rather plunge to endless darkness down
11        Than sell my heart-throbs for the rabble's roar;
12    I would not give my body like a clown
13To tumble on its paltry board for pence,
14    Nor leer for lovers like a shameless whore.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
Data entry: Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: