Donald Davie

for Robert Conquest

Exotic stimulations!
Our passions pulled so loose
From anything we might
Share with our congeners,
Why should we not refuse
Their craven fabrications?

Conquest (what a name for
The emulous and mettled!),
How can you think the score
Settled by mere good humour?
Confess a covert wish for
The Orphic, the unfettered.

And so why not dismiss
The island’s tame requirements?
Strike out on whatever
Polished oceans sever
Us from our imagined
Glassily sleeping Colchis!