James, my inspiration and Muse...

Welcome

Here is a collection of my favourite poetry,
Mr May has admitted to liking poetry.
He has even inspired me to write some.
He likes poetry, I like him.
**********************************************
**********************************************

Click on pics to enlarge.

Thank you for visiting.

Friday, 18 August 2017


A Song
Earl of Rochester

My dear mistress has a heart
Soft as those kind looks she gave me,
When with love's resistless art,
And her eyes, she did enslave me;
But her constancy's so weak,
She's so wild and apt to wander,
That my jealous heart would break
Should we live one day asunder.

Melting joys about her move,
Killing pleasures, wounding blisses;
She can dress her eyes in love,
And her lips can arm with kisses;
Angels listen when she speaks,
She's my delight, all mankind's wonder;
But my jealous heart would break
Should we live one day asunder.                         

Saturday, 22 July 2017


A Denial
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

We have met late---it is too late to meet,
   O friend, not more than friend!
Death's forecome shroud is tangled round my feet,
And if I step or stir, I touch the end.
   In this last jeopardy
Can I approach thee, I, who cannot move?
How shall I answer thy request for love?
   Look in my face and see.


 I love thee not, I dare not love thee! go
   In silence; drop my hand.
If thou seek roses, seek them where they blow
In garden-alleys, not in desert-sand.
   Can life and death agree,
That thou shouldst stoop thy song to my complaint?
I cannot love thee. If the word is faint,
   Look in my face and see. 



I might have loved thee in some former days.
   Oh, then, my spirits had leapt
As now they sink, at hearing thy love-praise!
Before these faded cheeks were overwept,
   Had this been asked of me,
To love thee with my whole strong heart and head,---
I should have said still . . . yes, but smiled and said,
   "Look in my face and see!" 


But now . . . God sees me, God, who took my heart
   And drowned it in life's surge.
In all your wide warm earth I have no part---
A light song overcomes me like a dirge.
   Could Love's great harmony
The saints keep step to when their bonds are loose,
Not weigh me down? am I a wife to choose?
   Look in my face and see---

While I behold, as plain as one who dreams,
   Some woman of full worth,
Whose voice, as cadenced as a silver stream's,
Shall prove the fountain-soul which sends it forth;
   One younger, more thought-free
And fair and gay, than I, thou must forget,
With brighter eyes than these . . . which are not wet.
    Look in my face and see!

So farewell thou, whom I have known too late
   To let thee come so near.
Be counted happy while men call thee great,
And one belov├Ęd woman feels thee dear!---
   Not I!---that cannot be.
I am lost, I am changed,---I must go farther, where
The change shall take me worse, and no one dare
   Look in my face and see.

Meantime I bless thee. By these thoughts of mine
   I bless thee from all such!
I bless thy lamp to oil, thy cup to wine,
Thy hearth to joy, thy hand to an equal touch
   Of loyal troth. For me,
I love thee not, I love thee not!---away!
Here's no more courage in my soul to say
   "Look in my face and see."

Friday, 14 July 2017

Monday, 10 July 2017


'I know a hidden field...'
Felix Dennis

I know a hidden field of ridge and furrow
              Far from track or human tread,
Where grasses sigh and coneys burrow,
       Where the cowslips dot the midden,
    Where a skylark hovers, hidden,
             Very high above your head.
I know an ancient road men call The Drover,
             Free of fences, gate or wire;
A chalky way of turf and clover,
     There the hedge is white at May time,
     There a barn owl roosts in daytime
             Snug within a ruined byre.

I know a Druid yew, a silent mourner,
              Mourning what, I do not know.
It stands within a pasture corner,
      Grim with age, grown gaunt and hollow,
      Guarding still some secret sorrow;
              Rot within and grief below.

I know a grassy mound, an orchard parcel
              Tucked beside a hazel wood,
There the lambs play king o’ the castle,
      There I’ve sat amid the cherries,
      Swearing I’d be back for berries—
           Knowing that I never should.
 

Sunday, 9 July 2017


Returning, We Hear The Larks
Isaac Rosenberg

Sombre the night is:
And, though we have our lives, we know
What sinister threat lurks there.
 
Dragging these anguished limbs, we only know
This poison-blasted track opens on our camp—
On a little safe sleep.
 
But hark! Joy—joy—strange joy.
Lo! Heights of night ringing with unseen larks:
Music showering on our upturned listening faces.
 
Death could drop from the dark
As easily as song—
But song only dropped,
Like a blind man's dreams on the sand
By dangerous tides;
Like a girl's dark hair, for she dreams no ruin lies there,
Or her kisses where a serpent hides.

Friday, 30 June 2017


End of Another Home Holiday
D. H. Lawrence

When shall I see the half-moon sink again
Behind the black sycamore at the end of the garden?
When will the scent of the dim white phlox
Creep up the wall to me, and in at my open window?
Why is it, the long, slow stroke of the midnight bell
(Will it never finish the twelve?)
Falls again and again on my heart with a heavy reproach?

The moon-mist is over the village, out of the mist speaks the bell,
And all the little roofs of the village bow low, pitiful, beseeching, resigned.
–Speak, you my home! what is it I don’t do well?

Ah home, suddenly I love you
As I hear the sharp clean trot of a pony down the road,
Succeeding sharp little sounds dropping into silence
Clear upon the long-drawn hoarseness of a train across the valley.

The light has gone out, from under my mother’s door.
That she should love me so!–
She, so lonely, greying now!
And I leaving her,
Bent on my pursuits!

Love is the great Asker.
The sun and the rain do not ask the secret
Of the time when the grain struggles down in the dark.
The moon walks her lonely way without anguish,
Because no-one grieves over her departure.

Forever, ever by my shoulder pitiful love will linger,
Crouching as little houses crouch under the mist when I turn.
Forever, out of the mist, the church lifts up a reproachful finger
Pointing my eyes in wretched defiance where love hides her face to mourn.

 Oh! but the rain creeps down to wet the grain
That struggles alone in the dark,
And asking nothing, patiently steals back again!
The moon sets forth o’nights
To walk the lonely, dusky heights
Serenely, with steps unswerving;
Pursued by no sigh of bereavement,
No tears of love unnerving
Her constant tread
While ever at my side,
Frail and sad, with grey, bowed head,
The beggar-woman, the yearning-eyed
Inexorable love goes lagging.

The wild young heifer, glancing distraught,
With a strange new knocking of life at her side
Runs seeking a loneliness.
The little grain draws down the earth, to hide.
Nay, even the slumberous egg, as it labours under the shell
Patiently to divide and self-divide,
Asks to be hidden, and wishes nothing to tell.

But when I draw the scanty cloak of silence over my eyes
Piteous love comes peering under the hood;
Touches the clasp with trembling fingers, and tries
To put her ear to the painful sob of my blood;
While her tears soak through to my breast,
Where they burn and cauterize.

The moon lies back and reddens.
In the valley a corncrake calls
Monotonously,
With a plaintive, unalterable voice, that deadens
My confident activity;
With a hoarse, insistent request that falls
Unweariedly, unweariedly,
Asking something more of me,
Yet more of me.

   
An English Light
Felix Dennis

9.45 on a fine June night,
I watch from the window and write and write
As the fields are lit by the red-eyed flight
Of the westering sun - as the trees ignite,
And the shadows lance in the slanted light,
Each leaf a halo of fire, more bright
Than the pale moon clothed in mottle and white
Awaiting the arms of her purple knight.

Little is moving in Eden this night
But the ears of an owl on a branchy height
For the rustle of voles, however slight,
As a martin blurs like a sickle kite
Of gunmetal grey... and I write and write
This hymn of delight in an English light.




Friday, 13 January 2017


Half Fledged
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
 
 I feel the stirrings in me of great things,
New half-fledged thoughts rise up and beat their wings,
And tremble on the margin of their nest,
Then flutter back, and hide within my breast.

Beholding space, they doubt their untried strength
Beholding men, they fear them. But at length
Grown all too great and active for the heart
That broods them with such tender mother art,
Forgetting fear, and men, and all, that hour,
Save the impelling consciousness of power
That stirs within them---they shall soar away
Up to the very portals of the Day.

Oh, what exultant rapture thrills me through
When I contemplate all those thoughts may do;
Like snow-white eagles penetrating space,
They may explore full many an unknown place,
And build their nests on mountain heights unseen
Whereon doth lie that dreamed-of rest serene.
Stay thou a little longer in my breast,
Till my fond heart shall push thee from the nest.
Anxious to see thee soar to heights divine---
Oh, beautiful but half-fledged thoughts of mine.

Thursday, 5 January 2017


My letters! all dead paper, mute and white!
And yet they seem alive and quivering
Against my tremulous hands which loose the string
And let them drop down on my knee to-night.
This said,- he wished to have me in his sight
Once, as a friend: this fixed a day in spring
To come and touch my hand... a simple thing,
Yet I wept for it! - this,... the paper's light...
Said, Dear, I love thee; and I sank and quailed
As if God's future thundered on my past.
This said, I am thine- and so its ink has paled
With Iying at my heart that beat too fast.
And this... O Love, thy words have ill availed
If, what this said, I dared repeat at last!                         

Sunday, 1 January 2017




From The Land - Winter
Vita Sackville-West

The country habit has me by the heart,
For he's bewitched forever who has seen,
Not with his eyes but with his vision, Spring
Flow down the woods and stipple leaves with sun,
As each man knows the life that fits him best,
The shape it makes in his soul, the tune, the tone,
And after ranging on a tentative flight
Stoops like the merlin to the constant lure.
The country habit has me by the heart.
I never hear the sheep-bells in the fold,
Nor see the ungainly heron rise and flap
Over the marsh, nor hear the asprous corn
Clash, as the reapers set the sheaves in shocks
(That like a tented army dream away
The night beneath the moon in silvered fields),
Nor watch the stubborn team of horse and man
Graven upon the skyline, nor regain
The sign-posts on the roads towards my home
Bearing familiar names—without a strong
Leaping of recognition; only here
Lies peace after uneasy truancy;
Here meet and marry many harmonies,
—All harmonies being ultimately one,—
Small mirroring majestic; for as earth
Rolls on her journey, so her little fields
Ripen or sleep, and the necessities
Of seasons match the planetary law.
So truly stride between the earth and heaven
Sowers of grain: so truly in the spring
Earth's orbit swings both blood and sap to rhythm,
And infinite and humble are at one;
So the brown hedger, through the evening lanes
Homeward returning, sees above the ricks,
Sickle in hand, the sickle in the sky.
Shepherds and stars are quiet with the hills.
There is a bond between the men who go
From youth about the business of the earth,
And the earth they serve, their cradle and their grave;
Stars with the seasons alter; only he
Who wakeful follows the pricked revolving sky,
Turns concordant with the earth while others sleep;
To him the dawn is punctual; to him
The quarters of the year no empty name.
A loutish life, but in the midst of dark
Cut to a gash of beauty, as when the hawk
Bears upwards in its talons the striking snake,
High, and yet higher, till those two hang close,
Sculptural on the blue, together twined,
Exalted, deathly, silent, and alone.

Monday, 26 December 2016


A Maiden's Secret
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(I have posted a shorter version of this before, which I prefer.)

I have written this day down in my heart
As the sweetest day in the season;
From all of the others I've set it apart---
But I will not tell you the reason,
That is my secret---I must not tell;
But the skies are soft and tender,
And never before, I know full well,
Was the earth so full of splendour.

I sing at my labour the whole day long,
And my heart is as light as a feather;
And there is a reason for my glad song
Besides the beautiful weather.
But I will not tell it to you; and though
That thrush in the maple heard it,
And would shout it aloud if he could, I know
He hasn't the power to word it.

Up, where I was sewing, this morn came one
Who told me the sweetest stories,
He said I had stolen my hair from the sun,
And my eyes from the morning glories.
Grandmother says that I must not believe
A word men say, for they flatter;
But I'm sure he would never try to deceive,
For he told me---but there---no matter!

Last night I was sad, and the world to me
Seemed a lonely and dreary dwelling,
But some one then had not asked me to be---
There now! I am almost telling.
Not another word shall my two lips say,
I will shut them fast together,
And never a mortal shall know to-day
Why my heart is as light as a feather.                         

Friday, 11 November 2016


Lest we forget...



Monday, 19 September 2016


The Bells of Heaven
Ralph Hodgson

'Twould ring the bells of Heaven
The wildest peal for years,
If Parson lost his senses
And people came to theirs,
And he and they together
Knelt down with angry prayers
For tamed and shabby tigers
And dancing dogs and bears,
And wretched, blind pit ponies,
And little hunted hares.                         

Monday, 5 September 2016


The Gypsy Girl
Ralph Hodgson

'Come, try your skill, kind gentlemen,
A penny for three tries!'
Some threw and lost, some threw and won
A ten-a-penny prize.

She was a tawny gypsy girl,
A girl of twenty years,
I liked her for the lumps of gold
That jingled from her ears;

I liked the flaring yellow scarf
Bound loose about her throat,
I liked her showy purple gown
And flashy velvet coat.

A man came up, too loose of tongue,
And said no good to her;
She did not blush as Saxons do,
Or turn upon the cur;

She fawned and whined, 'Sweet gentleman,
A penny for three tries!'
- But oh, the den of wild things in
The darkness of her eyes!                         

Sunday, 28 August 2016


To Ailsa Rock
John Keats

Hearken, thou craggy ocean-pyramid!
Give answer by thy voice, the sea-fowls' screams!
When were thy shoulders mantled in huge streams?
When from the sun was thy broad forehead hid?
How long is't since the mighty Power bid
Thee heave to airy sleep from fathom dreams?
Sleep in the lap of thunder or sunbeams,
Or when grey clouds are thy cold coverlid?
Thou answer'st not; for thou art dead asleep.
Thy life is but two dead eternities-
The last in air, the former in the deep,
First with the whales, last with the eagle-skies.
Drowned wast thou till an earthquake made thee steep,
Another cannot wake thy giant size!                         

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Tuesday, 19 July 2016


 

Additional Poems
A.E.Housman
                           V1

Ask me no more, for fear I should reply;
Others have held their tongues, and so can I;
Hundreds have died, and told no tale before:
Ask me no more, for fear I should reply -

How one was true and one was clean of stain
And one was braver than the heavens are high,
And one was fond of me: and all are slain.
Ask me no more, for fear I should reply.

                              V11

He would not stay for me; and who can wonder?
He would not stay for me to stand and gaze.
I shook his hand and tore my heart in sunder
And went with half my life about my ways.

Friday, 15 July 2016





Crucifix Corner
Ivor Gurney

There was a water dump there, and regimental
Carts came every day to line up and fill full
Those rolling tanks with chlorinated clear mixture;
And curse the mud with vain veritable vexture.
Aveluy across the valley, billets, shacks, ruins,
With time and time a crump there to mark doings.
On New Year's Eve the marsh glowed tremulous
With rosy mist still holding late marvellous
Sun-glow, the air smelt home; the time breathed home.
Noel not put away; new term not yet come,
All things said 'Severn', the air was full of those calm meadows;
Transport rattled somewhere in the southern shadows;
Stars that were not strange ruled the most quiet high
Arch of soft sky, starred and most grave to see, most high.
What should break that but gun-noise or last Trump?
But neither came. At sudden, with light jump
Clarinet sang into 'Hundred Pipers and A'',
Aveluy's Scottish answered with pipers true call
'Happy we've been a'together.' When nothing
Stayed of war-weariness or winter's loathing,
Crackers with Christmas stockings hung in the heavens,
Gladness split discipline in sixes and sevens,
Hunger ebb'd magically mixed with strange leavens;
Forgotten, forgotten the hard time's true clothing,
And stars were happy to see Man making Fate plaything.                         

Monday, 27 June 2016

 
The Tame Hare
Norman Nicholson

She came to him in dreams — her ears
Diddering like antennae, and her eyes
Wide as dark flowers where the dew
Holds and dissolves a purple hoard of shadow.
The thunder clouds crouched back, and the world opened
Tiny and bright as celandine after rain.
A gentle light was on her, so that he
Who saw the talons in the vetch
Remembered now how buttercup and daisy
Would bounce like springs when a child's foot stepped off them.
Oh, but never dared he touch —
Her fur was still electric to the fingers.

Yet of all the beasts blazoned in gilt and blood
In the black-bound scriptures of his mind,
Pentecostal dove and paschal lamb,
Eagle, lion, serpent, she alone
Lived also in the noon of ducks and sparrows;
And the cleft-mouthed kiss which plugged the night with fever
Was sweetened by a lunch of docks and lettuce.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Monday, 11 April 2016





Liberty Rejected
William Watson

About this heart thou hast
Thy chains made fast,
And think'st thou I would be
Therefrom set free,
And forth unbound be cast?

The ocean would as soon
Entreat the moon
Unsay the magic verse
That seals him hers
From silver noon to noon.

She stooped her pearly head
Seaward, and said:
'Would'st thou I gave to thee
Thy liberty,
In Time's youth forfeited?'

And from his inmost hold
The answer rolled:
'Thy bondman to remain
Is sweeter pain,
Dearer an hundredfold.'                         

Horses
Edwin Muir

Those lumbering horses in the steady plough,
On the bare field - I wonder, why, just now,
They seemed terrible, so wild and strange,
Like magic power on the stony grange.

Perhaps some childish hour has come again,
When I watched fearful, through the blackening rain,
Their hooves like pistons in an ancient mill
Move up and down, yet seem as standing still.

Their conquering hooves which trod the stubble down
Were ritual that turned the field to brown,
And their great hulks were seraphims of gold,
Or mute ecstatic monsters on the mould.

And oh the rapture, when, one furrow done,
They marched broad-breasted to the sinking sun!
The light flowed off their bossy sides in flakes;
The furrows rolled behind like struggling snakes.

But when at dusk with steaming nostrils home
They came, they seemed gigantic in the gloam,
And warm and glowing with mysterious fire
That lit their smouldering bodies in the mire.

Their eyes as brilliant and as wide as night
Gleamed with a cruel apocalyptic light,
Their manes the leaping ire of the wind
Lifted with rage invisible and blind.

Ah, now it fades! It fades! And I must pine
Again for the dread country crystalline,
Where the blank field and the still-standing tree
Were bright and fearful presences to me.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Saturday, 19 March 2016



Sudden Light
Dante Gabriel Rossetti

I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.

You have been mine before –
How long ago I may not know:
But just when at that swallow’s soar
Your neck turned so,
Some veil did fall, – I knew it all of yore.

Has this been thus before?
And shall not thus time’s eddying flight
Still with our lives our love restore
In death’s despite,
And day and night yield one delight once more?

Thursday, 18 February 2016


The Kingfisher
Martin Armstrong

Under the bank, close-shadowed from the sun,
By winter freshets spun,
Dry tangled wreckage hung above the shallows
In the long roots of the sallows,
And underneath in cool twilight the stream
Lay calmed to a brown dream.

Then with the gleam and flash of a swift-blue flame
Out from the dusk he came,
And the heart and the breath stood still with delight and wonder,
While in the water under
Shot, swift as he, a streak of blue and green
From unseen to unseen.

O wonder, leaping with sudder flutter of wings
From the litter of common things,
Flash on the inward eye till the soul leaps higher
On the surge of a great desire,
And high in the dim-lit hall of earthly years
Another lamp appears.

Friday, 29 January 2016


Dawn
James McCarroll

With folded wings of dusky light
Upon the purple hills she stands,
An angel between day and night,
With tinted shadows in her hands;

Till suddenly transfigured there,
With all her dazzling plumes unfurled
She climbs the crimson-flooded air,
And flies in glory o'er the world.

Thursday, 28 January 2016


When Passion's Trance Is Overpast
Percy Bysshe Shelley

When passion's trance is overpast,
If tenderness and truth could last,
Or live, whilst all wild feelings keep
Some mortal slumber, dark and deep,
I should not weep, I should not weep!

It were enough to feel, to see,
Thy soft eyes gazing tenderly,
And dream the rest--and burn and be
The secret food of fires unseen,
Couldst thou but be as thou hast been, 

After the slumber of the year
The woodland violets reappear;
All things revive in field or grove,
And sky and sea, but two, which move
And form all others, life and love.

Friday, 1 January 2016


This Lunar Beauty
W H Auden

This lunar beauty
Has no history
Is complete and early,
If beauty later
Bear any feature
It had a lover
And is another.

This like a dream
Keeps other time
And daytime is
The loss of this,
For time is inches
And the heart's changes
Where ghost has haunted
Lost and wanted.

But this was never
A ghost's endeavor
Nor finished this,
Was ghost at ease,
And till it pass
Love shall not near
The sweetness here
Nor sorrow take
His endless look.                         

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

 
1914 - Safety
Rupert Brooke
 
Dear! of all happy in the hour, most blest
He who has found our hid security,
Assured in the dark tides of the world that rest,
And heard our word, ‘Who is so safe as we?’
We have found safety with all things undying,
The winds, and morning, tears of men and mirth,
The deep night, and birds singing, and clouds flying,
And sleep, and freedom, and the autumnal earth.
We have built a house that is not for Time’s throwing.
We have gained a peace unshaken by pain for ever.
War knows no power. Safe shall be my going,
Secretly armed against all death’s endeavour;
Safe though all safety’s lost; safe where men fall;
And if these poor limbs die, safest of all.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Monday, 2 November 2015


The Phantom Horsewoman
Thomas Hardy

Queer are the ways of a man I know:
He comes and stands
In a careworn craze,
And looks at the sands
And in the seaward haze
With moveless hands
And face and gaze,
Then turns to go...
And what does he see when he gazes so?

They say he sees as an instant thing
More clear than today,
A sweet soft scene
That once was in play
By that briny green;
Yes, notes alway
Warm, real, and keen,
What his back years bring-
A phantom of his own figuring.

Of this vision of his they might say more:
Not only there
Does he see this sight,
But everywhere
In his brain-day, night,
As if on the air
It were drawn rose bright-
Yea, far from that shore
Does he carry this vision of heretofore:

A ghost-girl-rider. And though, toil-tried,
He withers daily,
Time touches her not,
But she still rides gaily
In his rapt thought
On that shagged and shaly
Atlantic spot,
And as when first eyed
Draws rein and sings to the swing of the tide.                         

Friday, 23 October 2015


The Fall of the Leaf
Maurice Lindsay

As I rode home through woods that smelled of evening,
my horse reined up on his intuitive will
and stood, ears cocked, hearing his visible breathing,
the only sound alive this side the hill.
Autumn hung by a silence, swollen full
of the year's roundness. Under spars of dusk
the encircling frost moved stealthily to snick
each brittle stalk and shrivel night's black husk.

As if somehow it sensed it's enemy
the tired air leant against the lingering light,
trembling accumulated scents upon
the rearguard shadows backing the sun's flight.
Torn by the last horizon's hedgerow, strips
of straggled brightness littered the rutted track,
glossing a pack of ragged crows who savaged
hunger's edge with their own caw and clack.

It was as if the shorn and trampled season
bared an epiphany with no savioured parts
for we who hanker after permanence
while boredom and desires burn out our hearts:
until his tenseness splintered in a whinney,
acknowledging a cue I could not hear,
and anapaesting down his instinct's treason,
his hoofbeats thumped a rhyme of fear and dare.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

 
Strange Perspective
Edmund Blunden

Happy the herd is that in the heat of summer
Wades in the waters where the willows cool them,
From murmuring midday that singes the meadow,
And turns very tansies, fire-flowers, tindery.
Naked at noon there, naughtiness two wantons,
From bank bold jumping, and bough down dandling,
Of chimed hour chainless and churlish duty.
I see the glad set, who am far off sentenced;
Their lily limbs dazzle over long dry pastures;
And rude though ridges are risen between us,
Miles of mountains morosely upthrusting,
And dim and downward my gaze now droops,
My pool beyond pasture by a strange perspective
Is plain, and plunging its playmates gleam,
Hustling the staid herd into hazardous shadows.

Monday, 12 October 2015


There's a Certain Slant of Light - 258
Emily Dickinson

There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons--
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes--

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us--
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are--

None may teach it--Any--
'Tis the Seal Despair--
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air--

When it comes, the Landscape listens--
Shadows--hold their breath--
When it goes, 'tis like the Distance
On the look of Death--                         

Wednesday, 7 October 2015


I Have No Life But This
Emily Dickinson

I have no life but this,
To lead it here;
Nor any death, but lest
Dispelled from there;
Nor tie to earths to come,
Nor action new,
Except through this extent,
The Realm of You!                         

Wednesday, 30 September 2015


Blood Moon

In beating-heart time,
Rising high into glory,
The full moon appears,
And forsaking her silver,
Blushing, dons her sanguine gown.

Thursday, 17 September 2015


Setting Out Early
Du Mu

I hang my whip and give the horse his head.
For several li we hear no cockcrow.
Into the woods, my dreams still linger
and I start from time to time at the flying leaves.
It's frosty, and a lone crane wheels.
The moon still tarries above the distant hills.
My servant speaks no further word of danger;
it is a peaceful time, a peaceful road again.

Indian Summer
Wilfred Campbell

Along the line of smoky hills
The crimson forest stands,
And all the day the blue-jay calls
Throughout the autumn lands.

Now by the brook the maple leans
With all his glory spread,
And all the sumachs on the hills
Have turned their green to red.

Now by great marshes wrapt in mist,
Or past some river's mouth,
Throughout the long, still autumn day
Wild birds are flying south.                         

Saturday, 29 August 2015



Miss you,
my darling.
The black dog
comes snarling.
Past links
are breaking,
My fragile heart's
aching.
Fate,
cruel to sever
our,
always together.

Fluctuations
Anne Bronte

What though the sun had left my sky;
To save me from despair
The blessed moon arose on high,
And shone serenely there.
I watched her, with a tearful gaze,
Rise slowly o'er the hill,
While through the dim horizon's haze
Her light gleamed faint and chill.

I thought such wan and lifeless beams
Could ne'er my heart repay,
For the bright sun's most transient gleams
That cheered me through the day:

But as above that mist's control
She rose, and brighter shone,
I felt her light upon my soul;
But now -- that light is gone!

Thick vapours snatched her from my sight,
And I was darkling left,
All in the cold and gloomy night,
Of light and hope bereft:

Until, methought, a little star
Shone forth with trembling ray,
To cheer me with its light afar --
But that, too, passed away.

Anon, an earthly meteor blazed
The gloomy darkness through;
I smiled, yet trembled while I gazed --
But that soon vanished too!

And darker, drearier fell the night
Upon my spirit then; --
But what is that faint struggling light?
Is it the Moon again?

Kind Heaven! increase that silvery gleam,
And bid these clouds depart,
And let her soft celestial beam
Restore my fainting heart!
 

Sunday, 16 August 2015



Follower
Seamus Heaney

My father worked with a horse-plough,
His shoulders globed like a full sail strung
Between the shafts and the furrow.
The horse strained at his clicking tongue.

An expert. He would set the wing
And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.
The sod rolled over without breaking.
At the headrig, with a single pluck

Of reins, the sweating team turned round
And back into the land. His eye
Narrowed and angled at the ground,
Mapping the furrow exactly.

I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake,
Fell sometimes on the polished sod;
Sometimes he rode me on his back
Dipping and rising to his plod.

I wanted to grow up and plough,
To close one eye, stiffen my arm.
All I ever did was follow
In his broad shadow round the farm.

I was a nuisance, tripping, falling,
Yapping always. But today
It is my father who keeps stumbling
Behind me, and will not go away.                         

The Magnetic Mountain - 32
C Day Lewis

You that love England, who have an ear for her music,
 The slow movement of clouds in benediction,
 Clear arias of light thrilling over her uplands,
 Over the chords of summer sustained peacefully;
 Ceaseless the leaves' counterpoint in a west wind lively,
 Blossom and river rippling loveliest allegro,
 And the storms of wood strings brass at year's finale:
 Listen. Can you not hear the entrance of a new theme?

You who go out alone, on tandem or on pillion,
 Down arterial roads riding in April,
 Or sad besides lakes where hill-slopes are reflected
 Making fires of leaves, your high hopes fallen:
 Cyclists and hikers in company, day excursionists,
 Refugees from cursed towns and devastated areas;
 Know you seek a new world, a saviour to establish
 Long-lost kinship and restore the blood's fulfilment.


You who like peace, good sticks, happy in a small way
 Watching birds or playing cricket with schoolboys,
 Who pay for drinks all round, whom disaster chose not;
 Yet passing derelict mills and barns roof-rent
 Where despair has burnt itself out - hearts at a standstill,
 Who suffer loss, aware of lowered vitality;
 We can tell you a secret, offer a tonic; only
 Submit to the visiting angel, the strange new healer.

You above all who have come to the far end, victims
Of a run-down machine, who can bear it no longer;
Whether in easy chairs chafing at impotence
Or against hunger, bullies and spies preserving
The nerve for action, the spark of indignation-
Need fight in the dark no more, you know your enemies.
You shall be leaders when zero hour is signalled,
Wielders of power and welders of a new world.


Wednesday, 5 August 2015


In Absence
Edward Shanks

My lovely one, be near to me to-night.
For now I need you most, since I have gone
Through the sparse woodland in the fading light,
Where in time past we two have walked alone,
Heard the loud nightjar spin his pleasant note,
And seen the wild rose folded up for sleep,
And whispered, though the soft word choked my throat,
Your dear name out across the valley deep.
Be near to me, for now I need you most.
To-night I saw an unsubstantial flame
Flickering along those shadowy paths, a ghost
That turned to me and answered to your name,
Mocking me with a wraith of far delight.
...My lovely one, be near to me to-night.