William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

Apparition


Thin-legged, thin-chested, slight unspeakably,
Neat-footed and weak-fingered: in his face -
Lean, large-boned, curved of beak, and touched with race,
Bold-lipped, rich-tinted, mutable as the sea,
The brown eyes radiant with vivacity -
There shines a brilliant and romantic grace,
A spirit intense and rare, with trace on trace
Of passion and impudence and energy.
Valiant in velvet, light in ragged luck,
Most vain, most generous, sternly critical,
Buffoon and poet, lover and sensualist:
A deal of Ariel, just a streak of Puck,
Much Antony, of Hamlet most of all,
And something of the Shorter-Catechist.

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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