@ 27.105 MHz: Chorister At Magdalen Chapel, Oxford; Sometime Between 1858 And 1862

That one . . .  you know, that very gorgeous one,

so often, surreptitiously, removes

(and enters the high loft without) his shoes

each time the choir rehearses or performs;

unshod, his feet are hidden by the hem

of his long robe; though haters may condemn

his habit (if known) as perversity.

But it is, really, just part of his charm

(like that cascade of curls some think too long);

but (when you come down to it) how much harm

is caused?  He thinks that shoelessness improves

the range and tone he brings into each song.

And how can those who have heard him refuse

him this aspect of such fine artistry---

part, you might say, of his musical style.

Although you have not dared, yet, to confide

to him that to his voice your cold heart warms

(some say that this should not, at all, be done;

such is your time's, and Oxford's, prudish ways),

I think he knows:  as his footsteps' soft glide

brings him past you, he meets your ardent gaze

with a provocatively winsome smile

(candid, encouraging, without least guile).



Author's Notes/Comments: 

The dates and the title, some of the poem's fiction, are supplied by the biography of J.A. Symonds (1840-1893), but the poem is not about, nor addressed to, him.

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