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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 13. October 4, 1951

Considerations of F. J. Goya (1746-1828)

Considerations of F. J. Goya (1746-1828)

Haunted by stories of atrocities,
He cannot sleep, cannot as much as wink
Else night will open a million screaming mouths,
Curdle the air with strained monstrosities
Made by their tongue-torn voices. Sink
Though he may back into torpor, youths
With their bowels in hand and clenching blood
Will run before his dozing eyes and wrench
His senses back to their unholy road;
Fear, pity, rocks him in an avalanche.

Miraged before his dazed eyes then arise
The terrible Frenchmen—with their quartering sabres
And horses gouted to the girth with gore—
Who, finding whole, leave everything by halves.
All these he makes his subjects by degrees
And deftly naps the horrors out of war
The widow-maker, parent of the child
Who has no father's name. Thus may they learn
Out of his angry chart, a safe way through the wild
Waste of the world where eyes like plunder burn.

But only, mad, depraved, debauched, they say
Safe from their terror, now, in quiet homes,
And willing to forget blood ever fell
Nail by carmine nail in graves they
Never filled. Nor heard they screams
From tonsured breasts; but lie by night secure
In a warm bed, with novels, candy,
Wishing for something to happen—or that they were pure—
Or that the spouse beside them would waken for once,
and randy.