Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A GARGOYLE, by ARTHUR STANLEY BOURINOT

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A GARGOYLE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Old, leering gargoyle looking down
Last Line: And we must wonder why you wait.
Subject(s): Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Old, leering gargoyle looking down,
Perched, leaning out from Notre Dame,
When Paris was a little town
You grinned and leered and looked the same.

Half man, half demon, wrought in stone,
Some worker dreamed you long ago,
And set you leering there alone
To watch the world of men below.

A monk who thought the air was full
Of daemons, chimeras and gnomes,
Crowned your head with horns of a bull
To fright your kindred from men's homes.

And we can fancy how he worked
With cunning hand your fiendish face,
While one eye twinkled or there lurked
A smile the day you took your place.

And that was centuries ago;
Your maker monk sleeps well, no doubt,
And you have watched great Paris grow
Beyond her gates the walls without.

You thrust your tongue out at the world,
Clutching the parapet, the while,
Your wings of stone forever furled,
Iconoclastically you smile.

New generations come, depart,
And progress builds your city great,
But you leer down at Louvre and mart
And we must wonder why you wait.

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