James Elroy Flecker

The Ballad of Camden Town

I walked with Maisie long years back
    The streets of Camden Town,
I splendid in my suit of black,
    And she divine in brown.

Hers was a proud and noble face,
    A secret heart, and eyes
Like water in a lonely place
    Beneath unclouded skies.

A bed, a chest, a faded mat,
    And broken chairs a few,
Were all we had to grace our flat
    In Hazel Avenue.

But I could walk to Hampstead Heath,
    And crown her head with daisies,
And watch the streaming world beneath,
    And men with other Maisies.

When I was ill and she was pale
    And empty stood our store,
She left the latchkey on its nail,
    And saw me nevermore.

Perhaps she cast herself away
    Lest both of us should drown:
Perhaps she feared to die, as they
    Who die in Camden Town.

What came of her? The bitter nights
    Destroy the rose and lily,
And souls are lost among the lights
    Of painted Piccadilly.

What came of her? The river flows
    So deep and wide and stilly,
And waits to catch the fallen rose
    And clasp the broken lily.

I dream she dwells in London still
    And breathes the evening air,
And often walk to Primrose Hill,
    And hope to meet her there.

Once more together we will live,
    For I will find her yet:
I have so little to forgive;
    So much, I can't forget.

About the poet
James Elroy Flecker
By the same poet
To a Poet a thousand years hence
The Town without a Market
Felo de se
Tenebris Interlucentem
Invitation to a young but learned friend...
Ballad of the Londoner
The First Sonnet of Bathrolaire
The Second Sonnet of Bathrolaire
The Masque of the Magi
The Ballad of Hampstead Heath
Litany to Satan
The Translator and the Children
Destroyer of Ships, Men, Cities
War Song of the Saracens
Joseph and Mary
No Coward's Song
A Western Voyage
The Welsh Sea
Oxford Canal
Hialmar speaks to the Raven
The Ballad of the Student in the South
The Queen's song
Lord Arnaldos
We that were friends
My Friend
Mary Magdalen
I rose from dreamless hours
A Miracle of Bethlehem
Gravis Dulcis Immutabilis
The Ballad of Zacho
Pavlovna in London
The Sentimentalist
Don Juan in Hell
The Ballad of Iskander
Related books
James Elroy Flecker at amazon.co.uk

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