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II The School Globe

James Reaney


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The Top and the String

I wish I were a spinning top
Whipped on by a child
Whose little face was all my sky.
And I, spinning to his delight
Upon a spare room floor,
Would spin a number of times
And then be carefully
Or carelessly laid by.
The string that gave me motion
Would be put away in his pocket.
When he wanted me to,
I should be a gay revolver
Skipping about the floor.
Like a crazy, blue faded star
I’d run out the door
Through the bannisters
And down a pair of stairs
To where he’d find me.
But I’d not turn round forever
As I do now, day and night
With blood and passion’s bite,
With the string of blood
Never ceasing to urge me on.
But if I were a top,
Why, the string is seperate
And must be wound about me
And strongly yanked before I’ll go.
The child tires of this
Or his mother and father call him away
And I have long intervals,
Though I’m the most furious spinning top,
Of peaceful rest, of pleasant stop.