Kenneth Slessor

(27 March 1901 – 30 June 1971 / Orange, New South Wales)

The Ghost


'BEES of old Spanish wine
Pipe at this Inn to-night,
Music and candleshine
Fill the dim chambers . . . .
'Fans toss and ladies pace,
Flutes of cold metal blow,
Maidens like winds of lace
Tease the dark passages . . . .
'Run, you fat kitchen-boys,
Pasties in pyramids
Rise while your masters poise
Flagons with silver lids . . . .
'Ha! Let the platters fume,
Jars wink and bottles drip,
Staining with smoke and spume
Lips, tables, tapestries . . . .
'Wenches with tousled silk,
Mouths warm and bubble eyes,
Tumble those beds of milk
Under carved canopies . . . .
'Now let your lovers dive
Deep to that hurricane . . . .
O, to be there alive,
Breathing again!'
So the ghost cried, and pressed to the dark pane,
Like a white leaf, his face . . . in vain . . . in vain..

Submitted: Thursday, April 01, 2010

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