June – John Clare

Now summer is in flower and natures hum
Is never silent round her sultry bloom
Insects as small as dust are never done
Wi’ glittering dance and reeling in the sun
And green wood fly and blossom haunting bee
Are never weary of their melody
Round field hedge now flowers in full glory twine
Large bindweed bells wild hop and streakd woodbine
That lift athirst their slender throated flowers
Agape for dew falls and for honey showers
These round each bush in sweet disorder run
And spread their wild hues to the sultry sun.’

A Bridal Song – Percy Bysshe Shelley

I.
The golden gates of Sleep unbar
Where Strength and Beauty, met together,
Kindle their image like a star
In a sea of glassy weather!
Night, with all thy stars look down,–
Darkness, weep thy holiest dew,–
Never smiled the inconstant moon
On a pair so true.
Let eyes not see their own delight;–
Haste, swift Hour, and thy flight
Oft renew.

II.
Fairies, sprites, and angels, keep her!
Holy stars, permit no wrong!
And return to wake the sleeper,
Dawn,—ere it be long!
O joy! O fear! what will be done
In the absence of the sun!
Come along!

poem – beautiful old age

t ought to be lovely to be old
to be full of the peace that comes of experience
and wrinkled ripe fulfilment.

The wrinkled smile of completeness that follows a life
lived undaunted and unsoured with accepted lies
they would ripen like apples, and be scented like pippins
in their old age.

Soothing, old people should be, like apples
when one is tired of love.
Fragrant like yellowing leaves, and dim with the soft
stillness and satisfaction of autumn.

And a girl should say:
It must be wonderful to live and grow old.
Look at my mother, how rich and still she is! –

And a young man should think: By Jove
my father has faced all weathers, but it’s been a life!

poem – sickness

WAVING slowly before me, pushed into the dark,
Unseen my hands explore the silence, drawing the bark
Of my body slowly behind.

Nothing to meet my fingers but the fleece of night
Invisible blinding my face and my eyes! What if in their flight
My hands should touch the door!

What if I suddenly stumble, and push the door
Open, and a great grey dawn swirls over my feet, before
I can draw back!

What if unwitting I set the door of eternity wide
And am swept away in the horrible dawn, am gone down the tide
Of eternal hereafter!

Catch my hands, my darling, between your breasts.
Take them away from their venture, before fate wrests
The meaning out of them.

poem – a baby asleep after pain

As a drenched, drowned bee
Hangs numb and heavy from a bending flower,
So clings to me
My baby, her brown hair brushed with wet tears
And laid against her cheek;
Her soft white legs hanging heavily over my arm
Swinging heavily to my movements as I walk.
My sleeping baby hangs upon my life,
Like a burden she hangs on me.
She has always seemed so light,
But now she is wet with tears and numb with pain
Even her floating hair sinks heavily,
Reaching downwards;
As the wings of a drenched, drowned bee

poem – a baby running barefoot

When the bare feet of the baby beat across the grass
The little white feet nod like white flowers in the wind,
They poise and run like ripples lapping across the water;
And the sight of their white play among the grass
Is like a little robin’s song, winsome,
Or as two white butterflies settle in the cup of one flower
For a moment, then away with a flutter of wings.

I long for the baby to wander hither to me
Like a wind-shadow wandering over the water,
So that she can stand on my knee
With her little bare feet in my hands,
Cool like syringa buds,
Firm and silken like pink young peony flowers.

Poem – Day’s End

Oxen and sheep were brought back down

Long ago and bramble gates closed over

Mountains and rivers far from my old garden

A windswept moon rises into clear night.
Springs trickle down dark cliffs and autumn

Dew fills ridgeline grasses my hair seems

Winter in lamplight. The flame flickers

Good fortune over and over and for what

Roses Can Wound – Lascelles Abercrombie

Roses can wound, 

But not from having thorns they do most harm; 

Often the night gives, starry-sheen or moon’d, 

Deep in the soul alarm. 

And it hath been deep within my heart like fear, 

Girl, when you are near. 

The mist of sense, 

Wherein the soul goes shielded, can divide, 

And she must cringe and be ashamed, and wince, 

Not in appearance hide 

Of rose or girl from the blazing mastery 

Of bared Eternity.

The Stream’s Song –  Lascelles Abercrombie 

Make way, make way, 

You thwarting stones; 

Room for my play, 

Serious ones. 
Do you not fear, 

O rocks and boulders, 

To feel my laughter 

On your broad shoulders? 
So you not know 

My joy at length 

Will all wear out 

Your solemn strength? 
You will not for ever 

Cumber my play: 

With joy and son 

I clear my way. 
Your faith of rock 

Shall yield to me, 

And be carried away 

By the song of my glee. 
Crumble, crumble, 

Voiceless things; 

No faith can last 

That never sings. 
For the last hour 

To joy belongs: 

The steadfast perish, 

But not the songs. 
Yet for a while 

Thwart me, O boulders; 

I need for laugher 

Your serious shoulders. 
And when my singing 

Has razed your quite, 

I shall have lost 

Half my delight.

Hope And Despair – Lascelles Abercrombie

Said God, ‘You sisters, ere ye go 

Down among men, my work to do, 

I will on each a badge bestow: 

Hope I love best, and gold for her, 

Yet a silver glory for Despair, 

For she is my angel too.’ 

Then like a queen, Despair 

Put on the stars to wear. 

But Hope took ears of corn, and round 

Her temples in a wreath them bound.– 

Which think ye lookt the more fair?