A Modern Polypheme

by Dollie Radford

Dollie Radford

A FLASH of colour through the trees,
A step upon the trembling plank,
A white sail flapping in the breeze,
And then a maiden leaves the bank.
Each day I watch her, as she guides
Her little boat with dexterous hand,
And like a river goddess rides
In gracious triumph through the land.
I watch her as she lightly tacks,
And marvel at the art which steers
Her boat into the quiet "backs,"
And sorrow when it disappears.
Who, in the summer evening, knows
What gentle feelings fill her breast,
Or by what bower the water flows
Which bear her dingy to its rest?
Perchance a lover, dark and tall,
Awaits her in some flower nook,
And gazing at her gathers all
Her thoughts, as from an open book.
Perchance--I know not learnt her name,
I know not where her home may be,
For one brief space alone I claim
Her beauty, as she passes me.
For then the Heaven-winged dreams, which smile
And fade in youth's first golden hour,
Come back and soothe my soul awhile
As the sweet perfume of a flower.
And so I watch for her nor care
Which Acis tarries down the stream--
Enough to see her, I forswear
Thy black emotions, Polypheme!

Last updated November 17, 2022