The Compassionate Fool


                 My enemy had bidden me as guest.

                His table all set out with wine and cake,

                His ordered chairs, he to beguile me dressed

                So neatly, moved my pity for his sake.


                I knew it was an ambush, but could not

                Leave him to eat his cake up by himself

                And put his unused glasses on the shelf.

                I made pretence of falling in his plot,


                And trembled when in his anxiety

                He bared it too absurdly to my view.

                And even as he stabbed me through and through

                I pitied him for his small strategy.




The Collected Poems of

Norman Cameron

(London: The Hogarth Press, 1967),  p. 47.