Friday, 1 June 2012

Sunday, 11 December 2011





Where we made the fire,
In the summer time,
Of branch and briar
On the hill to the sea
I slowly climb
Through winter mire,
And scan and trace
The forsaken place
Quite readily.

Now a cold wind blows,
And the grass is gray,
But the spot still shows
As a burnt circle - aye,
And stick-ends, charred,
Still strew the sward
Whereon I stand,
Last relic of the band
Who came that day!

Yes, I am here
Just as last year,
And the sea breathes brine
From its strange straight line
Up hither, the same
As when we four came.
- But two have wandered far
From this grassy rise
Into urban roar
Where no picnics are,
And one - has shut her eyes
For evermore.


Sunday, 4 December 2011



A star looks down at me,
And says: “Here I and you
Stand each in our degree:
What do you mean to do,
Mean to do?”

I say: “For all I know,
Wait, and let Time go by,
Till my change come.” ”Just so,”
The star says: “So mean I:
So mean I.”



As newer comers crowd the fore,
We drop behind;
We who have laboured long and sore
Times out of mind,
And keen are yet, must not regret
To drop behind.

Yet there are of us some who grieve
To go behind;
Staunch, strenuous souls who scarce believe
Their fires declined,
And know none cares, remembers, spares
Who go behind.

'Tis not that we have unforetold
The drop behind;
We feel the new must oust the old
In every kind;
But yet we think, must we, must WE,
Too, drop behind?


Sunday, 27 November 2011



I rose up as my custom is
On the eve of All-Souls' day,
And left my grave for an hour or so
To call on those I used to know
Before I passed away.

I visited my former Love
As she lay by her husband's side;
I asked her if life pleased her, now
She was rid of a poet wrung in brow,
And crazed with the ills he eyed;

Who used to drag her here and there
Wherever his fancies led,
And point out pale phantasmal things,
And talk of vain vague purposings
That she discredited.

She was quite civil, and replied,
"Old comrade, is that you?
Well, on the whole, I like my life. -
I know I swore I'd be no wife,
But what was I to do?

"You see, of all men for my sex
A poet is the worst;
Women are practical, and they
Crave the wherewith to pay their way,
And slake their social thirst.

"You were a poet - quite the ideal
That we all love awhile:
But look at this man snoring here -
He's no romantic chanticleer,
Yet keeps me in good style.

"He makes no quest into my thoughts,
But a poet wants to know
What one has felt from earliest days,
Why one thought not in other ways,
And one's Loves of long ago."

Her words benumbed my fond frail ghost;
The nightmares neighed from their stalls
The vampires screeched, the harpies flew,
And under the dim dawn I withdrew
To Death's inviolate halls.


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Sunday, 20 November 2011



When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,
And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,
Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,
“He was a man who used to notice such things.”

If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid's soundless blink,
The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades to alight
Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,
“To him this must have been a familiar sight.”

If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,
When the hedgehog travels furtively over the lawn,
One may say, “He strove that such innocent creatures should come to no harm,
But he could do little for them; and now he is gone.”

If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand at the door,
Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees,
Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,
“He was one who had an eye for such mysteries.”

And will any say when my bell of quittance is heard in the gloom
And a crossing breeze cuts a pause in its outrollings,
Till they rise again, as they were a new bell's boom,
“He hears it not now, but used to notice such things”


Sunday, 13 November 2011



If it's ever spring again,
Spring again,
I shall go where went I when
Down the moor-cock splashed, and hen,
Seeing me not, amid their flounder,
Standing with my arm around her;
If it's ever spring again,
Spring again,
I shall go where went I then.

If it's ever summertime,
With the hay crop at the prime,
And the cuckoos - two - in rhyme,
As they used to be, or seemed to,
We shall do as long we've dreamed to,
If it's ever summertime,
With the hay, and bees achime.



One without looks in tonight
Through the curtain-chink
From the sheet of glistening white;
One without looks in tonight
As we sit and think
By the fender-brink.

We do not discern those eyes
Watching in the snow;
Lit by lamps of rosy dyes
We do not discern those eyes
Wondering, aglow,
Fourfooted, tiptoe.



Around the house the flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone
From holly and cotoneaster
Around the house. The flakes fly! - faster
Shutting indoors that crumb-outcaster
We used to see upon the lawn
Around the house. The flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone!


Sunday, 6 November 2011



”Ah, are you digging on my grave,
My Loved one? - planting rue?”
- “No: yesterday he went to wed
One of the brightest wealth has bred.
It cannot hurt her now, he said,
That I should not be true.”

“Then who is digging on my grave?
My nearest dearest kin?”
“Ah, no: they sit and think, What use!
What good will planting flowers produce?
No tendance of her mound can loose
Her spirit from Death’s gin.”

“But someone digs upon my grave?
My enemy? - prodding sly?”
- “Nay, when she heard you had passed the Gate
That shuts on all flesh soon or late,
She thought you no more worth her hate,
And cares not where you lie.”

“Then, who is digging on my grave?
Say, since I have not guessed!”
- “O it is I, my mistress dear,
Your little dog, who still lives near,
And much I hope my movements here
Have not disturbed your rest?”

“Ah, yes! YOU dig upon my grave. . .
Why flashed it not on me
That one true heart was left behind!
What feeling do we ever find
To equal among human kind
A dog’s fidelity!”

“Mistress, I dug upon your grave
To bury a bone, in case
I should be hungry near this spot
When passing on my daily trot.
I am sorry but I quite forgot
It was your resting-place.”



"There was a frost
Last night!" she said,
"And the stove was forgot
When we went to bed,
And the greenhouse plants
are frozen dead!"

By the breakfast blaze
Blank-faced spoke she,
Her scared young look
Seeming to be
The very symbol
Of tragedy.

The frost is fiercer
Than then today,
As I pass the place
Of her once dismay,
But the greenhouse stands
Warm, tight, and gay,

While she who grieved
At the sad lot
Of her pretty plants -
Cold, iced, forgot -
Herself is colder,
And knows it not.