Swags Up!

The Child Impaled

J. Le Gay Brereton

BESIDE the path, on either hand,
    To keep the garden beds,
The rusted iron pickets stand
    —Thin shafts and pointed heads.

And straight my spirit swooping goes
    Across the waves of time
Till I’m a little boy who knows
    A fence is made to climb;

And bed and lawn and gloomy space
    By thicket overgrown
Are wonderlands where I may trace
    The beckoning Unknown.

But O the cruelty that strikes
    My elder heart with dread
—The writhing form upon the spikes,
    The trickled pool of red!

So, every day I pass and see
    The fence the urchin scales,
The little boy stands up in me
    To curse the iron rails.

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