Cannibal Street

by Kenneth Slessor

Kenneth Slessor

"BUY, who'll buy," the pedlar sings,
"Bones of beggars, loins of kings,
Ribs of murder, haunch of hate,
And Beauty's head on a butcher's plate!"
Hook by hook, on steaming stalls,
The hero hangs, the harlot sprawls;
For Helen's flesh, in such a street,
Is only a kind of dearer meat.
"Buy, who'll buy," the pedlar begs,
"Angel-wings and lady-legs,
Tender bits and dainty parts-
Buy, who'll buy my skewered hearts?"
Buy, who'll buy? The cleavers fall,
The dead men creak, the live men call,
And I (God save me) bargained there,
Paid my pennies and ate my share.

Last updated October 06, 2022