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Kowhai Gold

[R. A. K. Mason]

The Beggar
Curse the beggar in the street
That he has less joy than I,
As, at these fine old trees' feet,
Body-satisfied, I lie.

He it is whose threne sobs thin
All adown this lovely dale;
Till slight pleasure grows rank sin
'Gainst Pan's pipes his pipes prevail.

He it is, with loathsome mien,
Gibbers by the sweeping car,
As, for joy, we steal between
Fields where frail pools sleeping are.

He hath damned my fine-bound book
And my pleasantness of meat—
Blasted, by his withering look,
All that once I glad could greet.

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Curse the beggar in the street
Curse the beggar that he die:
Curse him for his shrivelled feet
And his cruel, sight-striving eye.

After Death
And there will be just as rich fruits to cull,
And jewels to see;
Nor shall the moon nor the sun be any more dull;
And there shall be flowers as fine to pull,
And the rain will be as beautiful—
But not for me.

And there shall be no splendour gone from the vine,
Nor from the tree;
And still in the heavens shall glow Jah's radiant sign,
And the dancing sun on horses' sleek hides shall seem no less fine;
Still shall the car sweep along with as lovely a line—
But not for me.

And men shall cut no less curious things upon brass,
Still sweep the sea;
Nor no little, lustrous shadow upon the sand's mass
Cast by the lilting ripple above shall cease to pass,
And radiance shall still enhalo shadows on moonlit grass—
But not for me.