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The Absinthe Drinkers Analysis

Author: Poetry of Robert Service Type: Poetry Views: 78

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Ballads of a Bohemian (Book 1)He's yonder, on the terrace of the Cafe de la Paix,

The little wizened Spanish man, I see him every day.

He's sitting with his Pernod on his customary chair;

He's staring at the passers with his customary stare.

He never takes his piercing eyes from off that moving throng,

That current cosmopolitan meandering along:

Dark diplomats from Martinique, pale Rastas from Peru,

An Englishman from Bloomsbury, a Yank from Kalamazoo;

A poet from Montmartre's heights, a dapper little Jap,

Exotic citizens of all the countries on the map;

A tourist horde from every land that's underneath the sun --

That little wizened Spanish man, he misses never one.

Oh, foul or fair he's always there, and many a drink he buys,

And there's a fire of red desire within his hollow eyes.

And sipping of my Pernod, and a-knowing what I know,

Sometimes I want to shriek aloud and give away the show.

I've lost my nerve; he's haunting me; he's like a beast of prey,

That Spanish man that's watching at the Cafe de la Paix.Say! Listen and I'll tell you all . . . the day was growing dim,

And I was with my Pernod at the table next to him;

And he was sitting soberly as if he were asleep,

When suddenly he seemed to tense, like tiger for a leap.

And then he swung around to me, his hand went to his hip,

My heart was beating like a gong -- my arm was in his grip;

His eyes were glaring into mine; aye, though I shrank with fear,

His fetid breath was on my face, his voice was in my ear:

"Excuse my


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