Kenneth Slessor

Here you will find the Poem Rubens' Innocents of poet Kenneth Slessor

Rubens' Innocents

IF all those tumbling babes of heaven, 
Plump cherubim with blown cheeks, 
Could vault in these warm skies, or leaven 
Our starry silent mountain-peaks? 
O painter of chub-faced, shining-thighed 
Fat Ganymedes of God?what noise 
Would churn between the clouds and stride 
Far downward from those rose-mouthed boys! 
Down to our spires their lusty whooping, 
Fanfares of Paradise, would speed, 
Far down to dark-faced clergy stooping 
Round altars of their doleful creed; 
And God, whose wings of silver sweep 
Like metal afire on heaven's rim, 
Would daze them with a twinkling peep 
Of those young moon-stained cherubim? 
Then, for a trice, their skies might sparkle, 
And some gold ichor splash amid 
Those most respectable, patriarchal 
Purveyors of stale pardons, hid 
Behind their old cathedral closes 
From this unguessed, unguessable God, 
Shining before their learned noses 
Down roads that Peter Rubens trod.