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This poem is taken from PN Review 22, Volume 8 Number 2, November - December 1981.

Three Poems Jack Clemo

FRANCIS THOMPSON

Drab babble of the Thames somersaulted
Into rhythms of æschylus and Blake,
Whose work bulged the drop-out's pockets
At nightfall. His fugitive mind
Regarded the mixed myths with a drug-keyed stare:
Io-image of fate-stung humankind
incarnate in the child whore stumbling
Beer-fuddled from a gas-lit alley; Albion rising
Storm-cleansed among bloated tribes, calling for prophets.

The personal Hound who had driven this dreamer
From hospital odours to the higher wound
Pawed and breathed fiercely on the ragged refuge.
Francis lay, consecrating the Embankment
With a whimpered prayer, a sick poet's assent.

Too far north to abate the fever,
...


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