Saturday, 2 August 2008

Augustus John's Portrait of Lawrence

Not so much the blue-eye boy,
Or the custard-coloured hair
Or dust-coloured skin, and lips
Marked with innumerable vertical lines
Like rungs: he sits not quite forlorn
It focuses our eye on the shroud
That scarfs his head to keep the sun off;
The balanced golden serpent coiled
In golden segments like a crown.
He wears his dagger like the thorn
In his side refashioned as gold.
His finger is pointed languidly down.
There is nowhere else to go.

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