Summer/Fall 1997 • Vol. XIX No. 3/4 Kenyon Review ClassicsJuly 1, 1997 |

Ballad of John Cable and Three Gentlemen

from THE KENYON REVIEW, AUTUMN 1951 He that had come that morning, One after the other, Over seven hills, Each of a new color, Came now by the last tree, By the red-colored valley, To a gray river Wide as the sea. There at the shingle A listing wherry Awash with dark water; What should it carry? There on the shelving Three dark gentlemen. Might they direct him? Three gentlemen. "Cable, friend John, John Cable," When they saw him they said, "Come and be company As far as the far side." "Come follow the feet," they said, "Of your family, Of your old father That came already this way." But Cable said, "First I must go Once to my sister again; What will she do come spring And no man on her garden? She will say 'Weeds are alive From here to the Stream of Friday; I grieve for my brother's ploughing,' Then break and cry." "Lose no sleep," they said, "for that fallow: She will say before summer, 'I can get me a daylong man, Do better than a br

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W. S. Merwin was appointed United States Poet Laureate by the Librarian of Congress in July 2010. He lives, writes, and gardens in Hawaii, on the island of Maui. He has spent the last thirty years planting nineteen acres with over eight hundred species of palm, creating a sustainable forest. The property has recently been turned into a conservancy, the Merwin Conservancy.

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