Florence Wilkinson

(1878-1950 / United States)

A Memorial Tablet - Poem by Florence Wilkinson

Oh, Agathocles, fare thee well!

Naked and brave thou goest
   Without one glance behind!
Hast thou no fear, Agathocles,
   Or backward grief of mind?

The dreamy dog beside thee
   Presses against thy knee;
He, too, oh, sweet Agathocles,
   Is deaf and visioned like thee.

Thou art so lithe and lovely
   And yet thou art not ours.
What Delphic saying compels thee
   Of kings or topless towers?

That little blowing mantle
   Thou losest from thine arm --
No shoon nor staff, Agathocles,
   Nor sword, to fend from harm!

Thou hast the changed impersonal
   Awed brow of mystery --
Yesterday thou wast burning,
   Mad boy, for Glaucoe.

Philis thy mother calls thee:
   Mine eyes with tears are dim,
Turn once, look once, Agathocles --
   (~The gods have blinded him.~)

Come back, Agathocles, the night --
   Brings thee what place of rest?
Wine-sweet are Glaucoe's kisses,
   Flower-soft her budding breast.

He seems to hearken, Glaucoe,
   He seems to listen and smile;
(~Nay, Philis, but a god-song
   He follows this many a mile.~)

Come back, come back, Agathocles!
   (~He scents the asphodel;
Unearthly swift he runneth.~)
   Agathocles, farewell!

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Read poems about / on: farewell, dog, grief, flower, smile, song, mother, fear, god, night, kiss, change

Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 4, 2003

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