Muir Holburn - Selected Poems

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You who would reserve dismay

For a future date,

By the grace of heaven do so,

Pause, procrastinate.


Reserve your senses viable,

Reserve as well your woe.

Build for their care a Singapore.

Leisurely moves your foe.


with shocking stealth he’ll note the facts;

The crusted grate he’ll find,

The ford across the subtle moat,

The airways of the mind.


Sooner or later he’ll expose

The gold you wished to prize,

Clawing it ruthless not from your hands,

But out of your shining eyes.


This frigid bailiff, how he’ll rend

Your bonded walls apart,

Laying his claims to the gold stored up

Not in your hands, but your heart.




January, mcmxliii







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