First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Who is the god of Canongate?

Who is the god of Canongate? I, for I trifle with men and fate. Art thou high in the heart of London? Yea, for I do what is done and undone. What is thy throne, thou barefoot god? All pavements where my feet have trod. Where is thy shrine, then, little god? Up secret stairs men mount unshod. Say what libation such men fill? There lift their lusts and let them spill. Why do you smell of the moss in Arden? If I told you, Sir, your look would harden. What are you called, I ask your pardon? I am called the Flower of Covent Garden. What shall I pay for you, lily-lad? Not all the gold King Solomon had. How can I buy you, London Flower? Buy me for ever, but not for an hour. When shall I pay you, Violet Eyes? With laughter first, and after with sighs. But you will fade, my delicate bud? No, there is too much sap in my blood. Will you not shrink in my shut room? No, there I'll break into fullest bloom.


“Who is the god of Canongate?,” by Owen, Wilfred (1893-1918). The Estate of Wilfred Owen. The Complete Poems and Fragments of Wilfred Owen edited by Jon Stallworthy first published by Chatto & Windus, 1983. Preliminaries, introductory, editorial matter, manuscripts and fragments omitted. via First World War Poetry Digital Archive, accessed February 20, 2024,

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