Sunday, October 21, 2012

Shane Leslie: Young Poet


Shane Leslie is not particularly known for his poetry, and that is probably because it is not in the top rank of a crowded field when it comes to early twentieth century Irish poets and, as it is not without merit, and we've heard some of it here before on Front Free Endpaper, I was pleased to find this book with some youthful examples.

Fleet Street

I never see the newsboys run
   Amid the whirling street,
   With swift untiring feet,
To cry the latest venture done,
But I expect one day to hear
   Them cry the crack of doom
   And risings from the tomb
With great Archangel Michael near;
And see the running from the Fleet
   As messengers of God,
   With Heaven's tidings shod
About their brave unwearied feet.


Nightmare

I dreamt that the heavens were beggared
   And angels went chanting for bread,
And the cherubs were sewed up in sackcloth
   And Satan anointed his head.
I dreamt they had chalked up a price
   On the sun and the stars at God's feet,
And the Devil had bought up the Church,
   and put out the Pope on the street.

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