The Seven Amethysts
I got to speak with a friend of his-
A smart old man in a soft, cloth cap-
Who said, "He owned a silver cup
With seven amethysts round the foot
That he'd take with him to public meetings,
Put on the desk and keep topped up
With whisky from a flask. One time
He chucked the contents into the crowd
And the heckler he was aiming at
Ostentatiously licked his wrist
And said,'It's water.'" "Well, why not?"
I asked." But my informant's eyes
Turned hard. "Not possible!" he snapped,
"Not possible!" He wasn't a man
You argued with so I demurred,
And, mollified, he carried on.
"The day he died," he said, "Was a day
In early spring. He hadn't been ill.
And the next door neighbour said she met him
Turning in at his garden gate
And he told her that he'd work to do,
Cheerful, like. Next day we found him
Face down on floor, with the cup
As if it had rolled from his hand. You can see
The impression in the carpet still.
And all seven amethysts were missing."