Barcroft Henry Boake

Here you will find the Poem At the J. C. of poet Barcroft Henry Boake

At the J. C.

None ever knew his name, 
Honoured, or one of shame, 
 Highborn or lowly; 
Only upon that tree 
Two letters, J and C, 
Carved by him, mark where he 
 Lay dying slowly. 

Why came he to the West? 
Had then the parent nest 
 Grown so distasteful? 
What cause had he to shun 
Life, ere `twas well begun? 
Was he that youngest son, 
 Of substance wasteful? 

Were Fate and he at War? 
Was it a pennance, or 
Is it a glad release? 
Has he at length found peace, 
Now Death hath bid him cease 

Hands white, without a blot, 
Told us that he was not 
 One of ?the vulgar.? 
What can those cyphers be? 
Two only, J and C. 
Carved in his agony 
 Deep in the mulga. 

Was there no woman?s face 
Whose sunny smile might chase 
 Clouds from above him? 
No bosom white as snow? 
No lips to whisper low, 
?Why doth he seek to go? 
 Do I not love him.? 

Haunted by flashing charms - 
White bosoms, rounded arms, 
 Lips of fair ladies, 
Striving to break some link, 
Was `t that which made him sink, 
Dragged by the curse of drink 
 Deeper than Hades? 

Now, the wind across the grave, 
Tuning a sultry stave, 
 Drearily whistles, 
Stirring those branches where 
Two silent cyphers stare, 
Two letters of a prayer, 
 God?s Son?s initials.