Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, JOHN DARROW, by DONALD (GRADY) DAVIDSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

JOHN DARROW, by                
First Line: John darrow felt a coolness / across the streak of sun
Last Line: That never must be told.

John Darrow felt a coolness
Across a streak of sun.
He looked into the jungle;
Shadow there was none --

But a strange woman riding
A tiger's velvet back,
With skin like cinnamon
And eyes bright black.

There came a wrench of branches,
A laugh across the sun.
Darrow stood by dazzled,
Trailing a foolish gun.

When Darrow sprang to follow,
People caught him back,
"You must have much magic
To follow on that track;

"Witches have red lips
That smile for smart men's bones.
Shall Tuan Darrow's be
Among the wasted ones?"

Darrow's pate was addled,
So the campong said.
The Rajah wrote to Bangkok
Tuan Darrow had fled.

Between a dusk and moonrise
Darrow last was seen,
Climbing a barricade
Across a dark ravine.

The campong beat majuba
In fearful unison.
Came a tiger's roaring;
The Darrow man had gone.

And yet no tiger ate him.
He wandered back, men say,
Another dreadful Lazarus
Of calm unspeaking clay.

Where Darrow walks, comes silence,
The hush that strikes men cold,
The curse, the hope, the beauty
That never must be told.

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