DUNCAN, RONALD (1914-1982)
AUTOGRAPH DRAFT OF HIS POETICAL LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT [after Villon], c. 75 lines, mostly in four-line stanzas, with extensive revisions and deletions preserving reconsidered readings, and headed 'Ist draft 1962', 2 pages, folio, 1962
Since this is my last Will & Testament
I hereby exonerate my dear friends from blame.
It was not your fault you rode over me
But wholly mine, for getting in your way...
First let me rid myself
Of all my worldly goods & wealth
That they are not as much as you thought
Can easily be righted: add a naught...
And to my dear wife I give
The empty sympathy she used to feel for me...
To Marion Henswood I leave my fame
All she ever loved was my name...
To my wife: all my arab horses
Thats proof of love. At any rate
Of hers - for them...
To Deirdre, that part of me
She valued much more than my art...
PROBABLY UNPUBLISHED: publication of this poem has not been traced despite searching some ten volumes published by him. No poetical manuscripts by Duncan have been sold at auction. The poem is not listed in Location Register of Twentieth-Century Literary Manuscripts and Letters, 2 volumes, 1988. King's College, Cambridge, is the main repository for Duncan's literary papers in Britain; there is an important collection at Austin, Texas.