The American Scholar

FOUR POEMS

On Vacation

In London. England. Who knows why?
Perhaps this rumpled guy
From central casting or a page of Dickens.
He’s taking ordinary us
To haunts of the illustrious,
Where even dull pulse quickens.

A red felt hat’s dark fingered brim,
Food-spotted vest are—him.
A mood too, jaunty as his steps are sure;
And scattered knowledge, wide not deep,
Making it easier to keep
Up on the walking tour.

Of renowned Bloomsbury we’re shownFirst to an overgrownTangle of greenery with a wrought-iron fenceAnd told that this is Bedford Square,That Shelley spent his Sundays thereWhen short of pounds and pence.

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