by: Thomas Burke (1887-1945)
a time the amiable Bill Hawkins,
- Married a fair wife, demure and of chaste repute,
- Keeping closely from her, however,
- Any knowledge of the manner of man he had been.
- Upon the nuptial night,
- Awakening and finding himself couched with a woman,
- As had happened on divers occasions,
- He arose and dressed and departed,
- Leaving at the couch's side four goodly coins.
- But in the street,
- Remembering the occasion and his present estate of marriage,
- He returned with a haste of no--dignity,
- Filled with emotions of an entirely disturbing nature,
- Fear that his wife should discover his absence,
- And place evil construction upon it, being uppermost.
- Entering stealthily, then, with the toes of the leopard,
- With intention of quickly disrobing,
- And rejoining the forsaken bride,
- He perceived her sitting erect on the couch,
- Biting shrewdly, with a distressing air of experience,
- At one of the coins.
POEMS BY THOMAS BURKE
"Of Politicians" is reprinted
from The Song Book of Quong Lee of Limehouse. Thomas Burke.
New York: Henry Holt, 1920.