Payne, John

British, (1842-1916)


  1. OUR modern folk have drunken of Circe’s wine
  2. And yielding up their reason to the spell,
  3. Think but to eat and drink and buy and sell,
  4. Flouting to scorn all thought of things divine;
  5. Yet, for they fare on their hind-feet, opine
  6. Still to be men: but, wallowing in the hell
  7. That they hold Heaven, they mostly, truth to tell,
  8. Are no more human than a herd of swine.
  9. Yet some there be who shun the inglorious guild
  10. And in the purer places of the earth,
  11. On the bright memories of their island-birth
  12. Founding, a new and nobler England build,
  13. That shall relume the glories of the old,
  14. When the hogs dead are on their heaps of gold.

© John Payne. Payne: The Way of the Winepress. The John Payne Society, (1920).

About the Poet

John Payne (1842-1916), was a British poet and translator exotic poems and tales. He is now best known for his translations of the Diwan of Hafez, Boccaccio’s Decameron, The Arabian Nights and works of Villon.

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