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This poem is taken from PN Review 77, Volume 17 Number 3, January - February 1991.

Hermes and Mr. Shaw Donald Davie

The narrow backyard garden
   Of Mr. and Mrs. Shaw
Ran between us and, in its cutting, the railway;
   Ran right to left across the end of our,
Our and our neighbours', slightly more ample gardens.

Quite young, a childless couple,
   Mr. and Mrs. Shaw kept
Themselves to themselves; and so it was no light matter,
   When a ball had sailed over the fence, to
Go round and ask to retrieve it.

A minor clerk or else an artisan (I
   Never knew, I imagine), Mr. Shaw
Kept mostly a kitchen-garden, though
   Next to his house a patch of lawn
Was where a mis-hit cricket-ball mostly pitched.

The grass there was of a deep, an Irish green,
   And not cropped close. I think it was grown from seed
Not sods. I have the impression lawns
...


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