Saturday, October 09, 2010


Old Crabbed Men

James Reeves, Old Crabbed Men:
This old crabbed man, with his wrinkled, fusty clothes
And his offensive smell—who would suppose
That in his day he invented a new rose
Exciting still the fastidious eye and nose ?

That old crabbed man, sloven of speech and dress,
Was once known among women—who would now guess?—
As a lover of the most perfect address,
Reducing the stubbornest beauty to nakedness.

This old crabbed man, pattering and absurd,
With a falsetto voice—which of you has heard
How in his youth he mastered the lyric word?
His unflawed verse spoke like a March bird.
Charles Spencelayh, Departed Spirits

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