James Stephens

(9 February 1882 - 26 December 1950 / Dublin)

The Coral Island


His arms were round a chest of oaken wood,
It was clamped with brass and iron studs, and seemed
An awful weight. After a while he stood
And I stole near to him.—His white eyes gleamed
As he peeped secretly about; he laid
The oaken chest upon the ground, then drew
A great knife from his belt, and stuck the blade
Into the ground and dug. The clay soon flew
In all directions underneath a tree,
And when the hole was deep he put the box
Down there, and threw the clay back cunningly,
Stamping the ground quite flat; then like a fox
He crept among the trees.... I went next day
To dig the treasure up, but I lost my way.

Submitted: Thursday, May 10, 2012

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