Jeweller Cardillac to His Rubies

by Eugene Lee-Hamilton

Eugene Lee-Hamilton

At last I have them back, and feast my gaze.

They gleam more crimson for the blood they've cost.

And sparkle like the murder-reddened frost,

As every little facet winks and plays.

True, I did sell them,—but within three days

I've made them trickle back—the loved, the lost—

From off a dagger's point: and one more ghost

Now lives in ghost-land. Mine are rapid ways.

Who forced the fool to buy them? Did he think

A man can work for years at stones like these,

Then sell them and forget them? That the chink

Of his base gold could silence and appease

The lapidary's love? I crouch and drink

Their colour like red wine … with blood for lees.

Last updated November 21, 2017