Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BIRD OF PARADISE, by WILLIAM HENRY DAVIES



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THE BIRD OF PARADISE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Here comes kate summers who, for gold
Last Line: "perched on the bedpost there!'"
Alternate Author Name(s): Davies, W. H.
Subject(s): Despair


Here comes Kate Summers who, for gold,
Takes any man to bed:
'You knew my friend, Nell Barnes,' said she;
'You knew Nell Barnes -- she's dead.

'Nell Barnes was bad on all you men,
Unclean, a thief as well;
Yet all my life I have not found
A better friend than Nell.

'So I sat at her side at last,
For hours, till she was dead;
And yet she had no sense at all
Of any word I said.

'For all her cry but came to this --
"Not for the world! Take care:
Don't touch that bird of paradise,
Perched on the bedpost there!"

'I asked her would she like some grapes,
Some damsons ripe and sweet;
A custard made with new-laid eggs,
Or tender fowl to eat.

'I promised I would follow her,
To see her in her grave;
And buy a wreath with borrowed pence,
If nothing I could save.

'Yet still her cry but came to this --
"Not for the world! Take care:
Don't touch that bird of paradise,
Perched on the bedpost there!'"





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