The Planter's Daughter

By Austin Clarke

When night stirred at sea
And the fire brought a crowd in,
They say that her beauty
Was music in mouth
And few in the candlelight
Thought her too proud,
For the house of the planter
Is known by the trees.

Men that had seen her
Drank deep and were silent,
The women were speaking
Wherever she went —
As a bell that is rung
Or a wonder told shyly.
And O she was the Sunday
In every week.


"The Planter's Daughter" by Austin Clarke (Collected Poems, 2008) is reprinted by kind permission of Carcanet Press, Manchester, UK.