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This poem is taken from PN Review 63, Volume 15 Number 1, September - October 1988.

The Major Robert Stuart

The major despairs of his sons:
'Only the TV and money matter,
and nights at the Griffin.'

I had just come in to buy
some china, and browse among the furniture.

Yet twenty quails' eggs
he would right then have fried
for me, jugged a hare

or showed me a buzzard's nest in Northumberland;
scythed down a field
to net a morning partridge;
or in some Arabian desert
turned red-hot stones
for a mouthful of lizard or snake . . .
A china rabbit stood
on its hindlegs on a shelf above -
a valueless, comic ornament

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