Sonnet: Mr Banks Grieves for his Lady.
I took my Lady to the coral sand,
beloved of all. The oiled bodies nesting --
the bloody-headed grief -- we understand
nothing now. If we try to explain the testing
and the dalliance in English words
it goes astray: it was neither love nor whoring
but something in between. The brilliant birds'
feathers in the young men's hair, girls snoring
at noon and waking to stretch like tabby cats;
the brisk trade, a shining nail for a fuck;
the easy unrolling of the tapa mats:
all gone. We turned for home and lost our luck:
Our crew halved by fever; my good hound
Lady dead, in sight of English ground.