There is a corner in some foreign field
Perpetually dug by historians,
Like Evans, or Carter, they crave a yield,
Anxious to turn-up Australians
And there’s no telling what or fancying that
But to keep digging, till you find a rat.
Wishes are horses, bourses are courses,
In what is sealed-up, we pry,
But try getting hacks to reveal sources
Or say where the best bodies lie.
You’ll never see the best bones set on the mat
And can’t turn up truffles, for the smell of a rat.
Well may seal stones lay in the room,
Green, carnelian, amygdaloid,
Style the dirt pit a Minoan tomb
And fall, grave-robber, into the void:
Agamemnon’s death mask may well squash flat
But that’s in Mycenae, and I smell a rat.
Here’s the dried skull of some bovine stray,
Lined and carved in a dark, grand pattern
That wandered-off message, some sunny day
Subsumed in its helix, a ring of Saturn
Or if not an ice crystal, a startled cushat
Fearing propinquity to the gagging rat.
Hunt and collect in your orange cravat;
You’re never more than a yard from a rat.