Esther, A Sonnet Sequence: Vi

written by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

Esther, A Sonnet Sequence: Vi

— Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

The Lyons fair! In truth it was a Heaven
For idlers' eyes, a feast of curious things,
Swings, roundabouts, and shows, the Champions Seven,
Dramas of battles and the deaths of kings,
The whole Place d'Armes grown white as if with snow,
With canvas booths arrayed in triple lines,
And jugglers, lions, snakes from Mexico,
Dancers on tight ropes, clowns and columbines.
I went among them all with grave intent,
I, too, to find it may be some delight.
I was a boy and knew not what life meant,
Nor what the pleasures were men seek in it.
Only I knew that mingling with that throng,
I was a stranger a strange world among.

About the poet


Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

Second son of Francis Blunt and born into an old Sussex family. When he was eighteen he entered the British diplomatic corps and he worked in Athens, Constantinople, Frankfort, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris and Argentina. After his retirement in 1872 and his marriage to Anne Isabella Noel (the only known descendant of Lord Byron). They first met in Venice and he observed that 'she thought herself plainer than she was'. Together with his wife he travelled on horseback through the Mid-East and lived in Cairo. Blunt opposed British rule in Egypt and was also in favor of Irish home rule. For the latter he even served a prison term. Blunt had an affair with Jane Morris, wife of William Morris and model...

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