Introduced by LD: This charming little poem was written by our resident poet Gilbert Huntly last week, fresh from the farm, with mud still on his boots. The poem derives much of its charm from its quaint literary style. Gilbert’s diction has been strongly influenced, as you will see, by the great poets of the 19th century.
This particular poem could almost be a pastiche (if not a parody) of the ‘Lucy’ poems of William Wordsworth (1770-1850), especially the short 12-line lyric ending with the famous stanza:
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and oh
The difference to me!
Gilbert’s poem has a poignant modern twist, however, which would have been quite alien to the conventional-minded Wordsworth.
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
by Gilbert Huntly
She stepped upon the boarding deck—
My heart leapt to my throat!
And then I knew that I beheld
A lass of worthy note!
Her graceful poise, her comely face
As she scanned the coach’s seats
Did strike a chord of fearful thought
My eyes with hers should meet!
Afraid I was, lest she should see
Discomfort in my poise,
And know I was unsettled then,
Aside from train’s loud noise . . .
She chose a seat across from mine,
There placed her graceful form;
And I knew then that all I’d sworn
Was empty and forlorn!
She looked me in the eye. Her stare,
As cold as Arctic winds can be,
Pierced my sick heart. A black despair
Then froze my bones—and finished me!