Patrick Kavanagh

Adventure Near Westland Row


Half drunk, he recited Longfellow - 
There's poetry for you! He went on
To mutter about Owen [ill.]
And "The Long-haired Bohemian"

Who, from what I could gather
Was a remarkable mixture - 
Concocted by Commerce synthetically - 
Of painter, poet and musician.

Did it seem excentric [sic] of me to feel
Hate oozing? the pimple
That laughed a malignant tumour?
Evil in what seemed quite simple?

Venom! Yet I was glad that I had drawn
This one me, for not I
Was the object, but some spirit
Of unchanging morality

Of which I was the tool - 
I idly said:
"The effigy looks authentic"
This drove him mad.

His hair ran down his face,
He screamed a mult - 
itude of obscene words
At my "insult"

The face was volatile and there
Was history in that face
Of the unstable bog, the quaking scraw
Of a defeated race.

Then I realised that this race
Had assumed power;
Firbolgs dressed for a festival,
Stormed the ivory tower,

Staggering up to the gods, 
Trying to outlaugh the serene
Laugh of the monstrous Apollo - 
What can his wild words mean?
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