Clement Wood (1880-1950)

From The Bookman Anthology of Verse (1922). Read a biographical note.

return to sonnet central return to American 20th century

Sparta to Troy

(With thanks to the forgotten wit who first found the thirteenth line)

Young rose that budded by Eurotas's stream
(I've thumbed through Rand McNally, and -- I know!),
All ages headline your shy April dream,
And whisper, "Helen . . . Paris . . . Yes, it's so!"
Homer retailed the rhythm of the oars
That scarred the sea of time in that wild ride;
Poets have peered and peeped of those old shores
Where you -- and war -- splashed in Scamander tide.

Your posthumous publicity fills reams
And reams of incandescent lyrics, whirled
Wherever man desires, or woman dreams
Of love, with cheeks on fire, and lids half furled . . .
How far that little scandal sheds its beams!
So shines a naughty deed in a good world.