John Watson, ‘Leucippus at Temora’
Leucippus at Temora
Leucippus stares from trees already trees.
He stands in crinoline outside the Temora Arms
Further disguised in a wig of mistletoe in order to approach
Daphne, who is already brown as eucalypt seeds,
As brown as summer’s pendulous leaves.
He feels momentous love turn to dead weight
As milkmaidens and shepherdesses set upon him
Recognising him as an imposter in the district of gods.
But even as he is dragged down under them,
He sees Daphne turn in haste, herself eluding
The sun cloud like a fire on the river.
Then with his last attempt to rise through plaits
And rose lips and the clamour of avenging sweetness,
He sees the sun rebuffed by glittering leaves
And his staggering becomes fixed in silence.