Thursday, 20 October 2005

For Dad

Lycidas*, my father,

I cannot say you drowned;

But this long year you've crowned your head

Not with laurels

But Charon's** river-weeds.

And I, abandoned,

Kneeled on farthest bank

To watch the summer's rosy hue

Wither and wilt --

Fade to frost of cruelty unmatched.

Lycidas, my father,

I will not ask which wave

Hides you in its embrace;

For it is not your face

I still seek in liquid blue,

But that glance of eye,

That subtle twitch of lips --

That which I need to trace

She who was -- and is now --

Now Lycidas is gone.

* Lycidas is a poem by John Milton, which I happened to be reading this time last year. It is an elegy, or mourning poem, in which Milton bewails the loss of his friend at sea.

** Charon, in Greek mythology, is the ferryman of the dead. The souls of the deceased are brought to him by Hermes, and Charon ferries them across the river Acheron.

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