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Collected Poems

Jack and Jill

page 137

Jack and Jill

(For Allen Curnow)

Jill is my belle, my ding-dong girl, my dove,
My piece of Heaven, our cot the place of revel,
Her reign (my queen) the climate of my love,
Her love, satrap to Jock my other devil.

Waking to hills we wonder, wryly ponder
The ups and downs. Can Jill, the Dawn's pale daughter,
Breathtaking bear love's bucket? Goose or gander,
No sorcery will hoist and fetch our water.

In Paradise we played with snake and ladder.
It was the Adder, the mathematic god
Betrayed my fate, high-borne on hope's full bladder;
My bell had rung, my foot slipped where I trod.

Wounded by Heaven, old Adam, heartless cripple
Bed-bound by sloth, dear backwash of your beauty,
Begs you now bring the water for his tipple—
My gin (my lovely gin), your bounden duty.