The Galley Slave

Abaft, champagne bombards the vessel so;

Within, a goddess trifles, “Red deceives

And yellow sets all needlessly aglow;

How do I pick among painted reprieves?”

Despatched, dethroned, I know disdain belongs

Atop the soul of one, a man alone.

Bereaved, the Sun across the deck prolongs

Despair enough that Hope’s shadow’s soon shown.

How can she, so bright, this chalice of gold,

Deserve desire this cold? Comprised, ascribed,

Man: only he believes he needs be bold.

When do I tell her that coiffure’s but gibed?

Be calm, I will contain floods of these truths;

Consoling Kristen with some gaze which soothes.