At Lord’s – Francis Thompson 

It is little I repair to the matches of the Southron folk,

Though my own red roses there may blow;

It is little I repair to the matches of the Southron folk,

Though the red roses crest the caps, I know.

For the field is full of shades as I near the shadowy coast,

And a ghostly batsman plays to the bowling of a ghost,

And I look through my tears on a soundless-clapping host

As the run-stealers flicker to and fro,

To and fro: –

O my Hornby and my Barlow long ago! 

An Arab Love Song – Francis Thompson

The hunchèd camels of the nightTrouble the bright 

And silver waters of the moon. 

The Maiden of the Morn will soon 

Through Heaven stray and sing, 

Star gathering. 
Now while the dark about our loves is strewn, 

Light of my dark, blood of my heart, O come! 

And night will catch her breath up, and be dumb. 
Leave thy father, leave thy mother 

And thy brother; 

Leave the black tents of thy tribe apart! 

Am I not thy father and thy brother, 

And thy mother? 

And thou–what needest with thy tribe’s black tents 

Who hast the red pavilion of my heart? 

Poem -A May Burden – Francis Thompson

Though meadow-ways as I did tread, 

The corn grew in great lustihead, 

And hey! the beeches burgeoned. 

By Goddes fay, by Goddes fay! 

It is the month, the jolly month, 

It is the jolly month of May. 
God ripe the wines and corn, I say, 

And wenches for the marriage-day, 

And boys to teach love’s comely play. 

By Goddes fay, by Goddes fay! 

It is the month, the jolly month, 

It is the jolly month of May. 
As I went down by lane and lea, 

The daisies reddened so, pardie! 

‘Blushets!’ I said, ‘I well do see, 

By Goddes fay, by Goddes fay! 

The thing ye think of in this month, 

Heigho! this jolly month of May.’ 
As down I went by rye and oats, 

The blossoms smelt of kisses; throats 

Of birds turned kisses into notes; 

By Goddes fay, by Goddes fay! 

The kiss it is a growing flower, 

I trow, this jolly month of May. 
God send a mouth to every kiss, 

Seeing the blossom of this bliss 

By gathering doth grow, certes! 

By Goddes fay, by Goddes fay! 

Thy brow-garland pushed all aslant 

Tells – but I tell not, wanton May!

Poem – All Fresh – Francis Thompson  

I do not need the skies’ 

Pomp, when I would be wise; 

For pleasaunce nor to use 

Heaven’s champaign when I muse. 

One grass-blade in its veins 

Wisdom’s whole flood contains; 

Thereon my foundering mind 

Odyssean fate can find. 
O little blade, now vaunt 

Thee, and be arrogant! 

Tell the proud sun that he 

Sweated in shaping thee; 

Night, that she did unvest 

Her mooned and argent breast 

To suckle thee. Heaven fain 
Yearned over thee in rain, 

And with wide parent wing 

Shadowed thee, nested thing, 

Fed thee, and slaved for thy 

Impotent tyranny. 

Nature’s broad thews bent 

Meek for thy content. 

Mastering littleness 

Which the wise heavens confess, 

The frailty which doth draw 

Magnipotence to its law– 

These were, O happy one, these 

Thy laughing puissances! 
Be confident of thought, 

Seeing that thou art naught; 

And be thy pride thou’rt all 

Delectably safe and small. 

Epitomized in thee 

Was the mystery 

Which shakes the spheres conjoint– 

God focussed to a point. 
All thy fine mouths shout 

Scorn upon dull-eyed doubt. 

Impenetrable fool 

Is he thou canst not school 

To the humility 

By which the angels see! 

Unfathomably framed 

Sister, I am not shamed 
Before the cherubin 

To vaunt my flesh thy kin. 

My one hand thine, and one 

Imprisoned in God’s own, 

I am as God; alas, 

And such a god of grass! 

A little root clay-caught, 

A wind, a flame, a thought, 

Inestimably naught!