Poem for M.G.

George Sutherland Fraser

These nervous and golden evenings, under the lamp
You will turn strict and pale to another smile,
And other hands will help you off with your coat,
And other voices will praise and qualify
Discussing a mood or a style
And raised as your sentences die with a jerk in your throat.
And outside at night it will be dark and damp
And against the raw damp sky
Your medallion will offer a scare to the sidling glance.
Oh, perhaps in some house you pass there will be music,
Perhaps people will dance.
Here I am soothed by the sad, the satiable sea,
Here I ride with a trident the blue imperial wave,
Here I am drowned by the hands, voices, and faces,
That move, sound, and behave,
Here I am smiling to think it is not you,
My dear, or your sort that intermit the wars
To root us from our vegetating places,
It is not for you the towers of Troy shall burn;
But you are like that patient Ithaca
To which, from all the headaches of the sea,
After ten years of labouring at their oars,
Some few, the luckier voyagers, return.
George Sutherland Fraser
Return to Oasis -- Shepheard-Walwyn Ltd (1980)