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Portrait of the Artist as a Lone Tree


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Allesley Old Road

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Your voice was filled with tears that day you called
to say you could no longer play your part;
but earlier my heart had been enthralled,
so how to heal your hurts was all my heart.
Next day, I set out lone, with maps and guile,
to ride the miles in hope, all forty-four;
though lacking A to Z or compass dial,
I somehow found my way towards your door.
So parking pedalled wheels, I knocked and rang,
but found that there was no-one home to hear;
then sadly on the fence I sat for hours.
The bells of hell could not have made a clang
as loud my heart would shout to reach your ear,
if anything could give it other powers.

I gave you time to tarry in the town,
for Christmas causes many errands there.
I'd planned surprise, you did not let me down;
no welcome had I asked you to prepare.
At last, I saw that waiting was in vain,
and sadly pedalled lonely back to start.
In youth, those many miles caused little strain,
but night fell fast, and with it went my heart.
My sadness went unmixed with hate or fears,
and not a scrap of love had gone away,
nor one unkindly word escaped my breath;
but later came the truth that claimed my tears,
for you were in another's arms that day,
and inwardly, I died a dreadful death.

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