Treasure Island

Emmanuel George Cefai

(12th March 1955 / Victoria, Gozo)

Ditty


Ah! Youth sweet youth!
When we much younger were
How clearer the vision stood
When we at the fields looked
Or trod the summer sea
With oars and paddled boats
Or else swam in low depths
And basked on the warm sand
In some half-hidden cove
Along the rock hewn coast
Of Circe’s silent isle
A-dreaming in the dusk
Its long, long years of past.
With closed eyes were we
A-dreaming and a-musing
Without a thought a whim
Of fathering our children:
And now and now
A pair of ruddy legs I see
Is this my child to be?


Ah! What strange convolutions
Gray thought when drunk
With red and warm-lit wine
Goes through!
What secret passages
Throughout the brain
Zig-zag in its hewn rock
Adown the humid earth
It looked child’s play
Or some snakes and ladders
Through long lost years
Of silent history
In fetters bound
And striving for its liberty:
With its lithe hands and feet
A child’s lithe struggling hands
A pair of struggling feet
I seem dimly to see
Is this my child to be?

Turquoise and shining pearls
And Eastern amulets
From the deep ocean seas
Of Indian oceans stolen
And glittering necklaces
Of some Valois princess:
And mirrors brought from Crete
To shine and all display
In damasked Venetian halls:
And all that beauty thinks
And all that beauty finds
Does come into my eyes
And your sweet face methinks I see
Is this my child to be?

Submitted: Tuesday, August 30, 2011
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