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Muriel Stuart

(1889-1967 / England)

A Chicot


IN days of ancient history
Who were you? Tell me if you know.
Between your kisses answer me
To-night, Chicot.

Were you a faun by Castaly
Tracking Urania or Clio?
Or a white boy in Arcady
Astray, Chicot?

Were you a satin-supple page
Swinging a curtain to and fro,
Chanting some impudent addage
Of love, Chicot?

Were you the subtlest cardinal
That ever blessing did bestow?
At Fontarabia did you fall,
Fighting, Chicot?

Or at some monarch' table set,
Did the bells twink at wrist and toe?
Were you Brusquet or Dagonet,
Or else, Chicot?

Something you were of all of these,
Wise, gay, serene--that hid below,
More sad for all your subtleties,
Something, Chicot.

You brace your armor well tonight,--
Too well for any blood to flow;
You'd not betray in any fight
A wound, Chicot!

I think you would not flinch beneath
Life's whips, but after every blow
Stand up again, and set your teeth
And smile, Chicot.

Weariness waits on wariness,
There's leaping flame beneath the snow--
All sorts of things that none would guess
Of you, Chicot!

Are you a lover? No and yes!
Are you a comrade? Yes and no!
What are you? Neither more nor less
Than just Chicot!

Take what a passing poet sings
Before to-morrow bids us go,
In memory of--many things,
And you, Chicot!

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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