POETRY: THE HAPPY PRINCE by JANET FRAME
In the children’s record of the Happy Prince,
before each gold flake is peeled from the Prince’s body,
the voice orders, Turn the Page, Turn the Page,
supposing that children do not know when to turn,
and may live at one line for many years,
sliding and bouncing boisterously along the words,
breaking the closed letters for a warm place to sleep.
Turn the Page, Turn the Page.
By the time the Happy Prince has lost his eyes,
and his melted heart is given to the poor,
and his body taken from the market-place and burned,
there is no need to order, Turn the Page,
for the children have grown up, and know when to turn,
and knowing when, will never again know where.