Hortense Flexner

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French Clock

Time is a heavy legend to be told
By this slight clock, shapely and full of guile,
With brilliants at its throat, the sun in gold,
Louis' own seal, above its painted smile.
Some clocks have souls; they grow into a wall,
Become a part of lives they tick away;
This is a toy, perfect, sufficient all
Unto itself--a butterfly at bay.
Hours and years? They change but do not pass!
In this light world of gold and ormolu
Time is one splendid moment under glass!
Mad little clock, so gay it never knew
Blood on the hours, a lifted pike--a head--
And hot throats roaring that the King is dead!

(Text from The Best Poems of 1923)