Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
 
The Revealed Madonna
By Stephen Phillips (1868–1915)
 
AS I stood in the tavern-reek, amid oaths and curses,
  ’Mid husbands entreated and drugged,
Amid mothers poisoned and still of the poison sipping,
  Here harboured from storms of home;
For a moment the evil glare on a woman falling        5
  Disclosed her with babe at her breast;
An instant she downward gazed on the babe that slumbered,
  And holy the tavern grew,
For she gazed with the brooding look of the mother of Jesus,
  On her lips the divine half-smile;        10
An instant she smiled; then the tavern reeled back hellward,
  And I heard but the oath and the curse.
 
 
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