Muir Holburn - Selected Poems

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Come come it is Miss Ulelia Harris I sing.

Yea, she who went stamping down the beleaguered week,

Headgear tartly impaled with feathers and aggression,

In her polished grasp the umbrella of annoyance.


I sing her truth, a compost of adage and headline,

The clergyman’s smooth medallions embedded

In the journalist’s septic wadding.


She studied the leaders, veritably was

A pillar of temperance, drove a hard bargain,

Wouldn’t stand nonsense, only took yes for an answer,

Scalded her milk and her moments of temptation.


Yet she was brave in the crisis, organised despatch of infants,

Snapped shrilly at whining mothers, called the men childish,

Loathed their sure ease and loved them secretly.


Death it was first perplexed her honest mind,

There was no drink menace; there wasn’t a radio.

She only felt at home when she learned she might

Correspond sourly with heavenly editors.


Indeed it is Miss Ulelia Harris I sing—

Kindly, nervily sad, unfructifying;

Her thoughts were hard thin tiles. Yet many used them

To build the glistening bridge across the chasm.








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