Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
The Foreigner
By Amy Lowell
HAVE at you, you Devils!
    My back’s to this tree,
For you’re nothing so nice
    That the hind-side of me
Would escape your assault.        5
    Come on now, all three!
Here’s a dandified gentleman,
    Rapier at point,
And a wrist which whirls round
    Like a circular joint.        10
A spatter of blood, man!
    That’s just to anoint
And make supple your limbs.
    ’Tis a pity the silk
Of your waistcoat is stained.        15
    Why! Your heart’s full of milk,
And so full, it spills over!
    I’m not of your ilk.
You said so, and laughed
    At my old-fashioned hose,        20
At the cut of my hair,
    At the length of my nose.
To carve it to pattern
    I think you propose.
Your pardon, young Sir,        25
    But my nose and my sword
Are proving themselves
    In quite perfect accord.
I grieve to have spotted
    Your shirt. On my word!        30
And hullo! You Bully!
    That blade’s not a stick
To slash right and left,
    And my skull is too thick
To be cleft with such cuffs        35
    Of a sword. Now a lick
Down the side of your face,
    What a pretty, red line!
Tell the taverns that scar
    Was an honor. Don’t whine        40
That a stranger has marked you.
.    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
    The tree’s there, You Swine!
Did you think to get in
    At the back, while your friends
Made a little diversion        45
    In front? So it ends,
With your sword clattering down
    On the ground. ’Tis amends
I make for your courteous
    Reception of me,        50
A foreigner, landed
    From over the sea.
Your welcome was fervent,
    I think you’ll agree.
My shoes are not buckled        55
    With gold, nor my hair
Oiled and scented; my jacket’s
    Not satin, I wear
Corded breeches, wide hats,
    And I make people stare!        60
So I do, but my heart
    Is the heart of a man,
And my thoughts cannot twirl
    In the limited span
’Twixt my head and my heels,        65
    As some other men’s can.
I have business more strange
    Than the shape of my boots,
And my interests range
    From the sky, to the roots        70
Of this dung-hill you live in,
    You half-rotted shoots
Of a mouldering tree!
    Here’s at you, once more.
You Apes! You Jack-fools!        75
    You can show me the door,
And jeer at my ways,
    But you’re pinked to the core.
And before I have done,
    I will prick my name in        80
With the front of my steel,
    And your lily-white skin
Shall be printed with me.
    For I’ve come here to win!

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