Bernard O'Dowd

(11 April 1866 – 1 September 1953 / Beaufort)

Sloth (I) & (II)


Sloth (I)
Too many a Samsan lip your teeth indent:
Too many a Sybil girl you lure to make
The Great Refusal for a fireside sake:
And glamoured poet many a look has sent
Into those eyeballs bear-brown, somnolent,
Nor dreamed that devils in each muddy lake
Were sucking his devotion in to slake
The furrowed belly of your fanged content!
Religion's bane and Freedom's subtlest foe!
Behold the poppied freight your barges bring
The dim-lit souls that crave the prophet's gleam,
Or fettered people's writhing 'neath their woe--
Gossamer clips and thriftless harvesting
Of phantom flocks and shadowy tilth of dream!

Sloth (II)
My dreams dissolve the day's illusive net:
While crested Action's billows blinding beat,
Omniscient Eyes in troughs of Faith I meet:
I wait with ancient stars until they set
Lest forward progress should their runes forget:
I am the rest that makes the bar complete:
And, in the shackled body of Defeat,
The womb of Baby Triumph living yet!
I am the blende of sleeping radiance:
The Siding where belated Industry
Draws from a Silent Tank tomorrow's zest:
Prophetic Art's preparatory Trance:
Dilating Force's Sabbath systole:
The Night of Brahm when worn Creators rest!

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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