The Victor - Poem by Ernest O'Ferrall
A fierce, gray wind blows out of the north,
And the ghosts go forth in pairs.
The ARGUS rises in holy wrath
And the lodger falls down the stairs.
The crimson eye of the candle wick
Looks out of its cowl of flame;
A bailiff pounds with a heavy stick,
And calleth aloud my name.
I see no gold in the inkpot dry
(I KNOW there's none in my purse),
And so I list to his hopeless sigh,
And hearken unto his curse.
And then I mount to the fanlight high,
And gaze on his want of hair;
On bended knee he hath glued his eye
To the lock! The KEY is there!
But he stareth in with all his soul,
Like the ghost the gods desise,
That glares for ever through some small hole
In the gate of Paradise.
I marvel much how he keeps so fat,
And what is his lordly fee;
But what I really feel flattered at
Is his kneeling down to ME!
A bailiff stout is a noble sight,
While I am a poet small;
And yet - hath he not this very night
Knelt down in my dusty hall!
I'll spare - as a victor may - his life
And let him depart in peace,
Tho' I might have flung a paper-knife
And given his soul release!
An evil wind blows out of the north,
And the ghosts walk hand in hand;
The ARGUS rises in holy wrath,
And is hard to understand.
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