A delicate young Negro stands
With the reins of a horse clutched loosely in his hands;
So delicate, indeed, that we wonder if he can hold the spirited creature
Until the master shall arrive to ride him.
Already the animal's nostrils widen with rage or fear.
But if we imagine him snorting, about to rear,
This boy, who should know about such things better than we,
Only stands smiling, passive and ornamental, in a fantastic livery
Of ruffles and puffed breeches,
Watching the artist, apparently, as he sketches.
Meanwhile the petty lord who must have paid
For the artist's trip up from Perugia, for the horse, for the boy, for
everything here, in fact, has been delayed,
Kept too long by his steward, perhaps, discussing
Some business concerning the estate, or fussing
Over the details of his impeccable toilet
With a manservant whose opinion is that any alteration at all would spoil it.
However fast he should come hurrying now
Over this vast greensward, mopping his brow
Clear of the sweat of the fine Renaissance morning, it would be too late:
The artist will have had his revenge for being made to wait,
A revenge not only necessary but right and clever --
Simply to leave him out of the scene forever.
Donald Justice's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Anonymous Drawing by Donald Justice )
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
William Ernest Henley
- Beloved God, Mohammad Siddiqui
- Beloved, Mohammad Siddiqui
- Life is beautiful, Mohammad Siddiqui
- Poetry: A Small Fighting Bulldog, Laijon Liu
- Lights connect to each other, Mohammad Siddiqui
- My silent cry echoes through the universe, Mohammad Siddiqui
- Love keeps flowering and sometimes, Gert Strydom
- We sit on a balcony, Gert Strydom
- Cheap Shots, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- COPLA 69 INVOCATION: This Bad Guy World, T (no first name) Wignesan