Poem of the month

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. -Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)  

Let me die a youngman's death

Let me die a youngman's death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I'm 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I'm 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber's chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I'm 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman's death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
'what a nice way to go' death

Roger McGough

First Day at School

A millionbillionwillion miles from home
Waiting for the bell to go. (To go where?)
Why are they all so big, other children?
So noisy? So much at home they
Must have been born in uniform
Lived all their lives in playgrounds
Spent the years inventing games
That don't let me in. Games
That are rough, that swallow you up.

And the railings.
All around, the railings.
Are they to keep out wolves and monsters?
Things that carry off and eat children?
Things you don't take sweets from?
Perhaps they're to stop us getting out
Running away from the lessins. Lessin.
What does a lessin look like?
Sounds small and slimy.
They keep them in the glassrooms.
Whole rooms made out of glass. Imagine.

I wish I could remember my name
Mummy said it would come in useful.
Like wellies. When there's puddles.
Yellowwellies. I wish she was here.
I think my name is sewn on somewhere
Perhaps the teacher will read it for me.
Tea-cher. The one who makes the tea.
Roger McGough

 

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

W.B.Yeats

 


To a Distant Friend 

Why art thou silent? Is thy love a plant
Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air
Of absence withers what was once so fair?
Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant?

Yet have my thoughts for thee been vigilant,
Bound to thy service with unceasing care
The mind's least generous wish a mendicant
For nought but what thy happiness could spare.

Speak! though this soft warm heart, once free to hold
A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine,
Be left more desolate, more dreary cold
Than a forsaken bird's-nest fill'd with snow

'Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine
Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may know!

William Wordsworth 

 

My love is like a red red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
My love is like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

So fair (are you) art thou, my (beautiful darling, sweetheart) bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I;
And I will love (you) thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas (gone) gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
And I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And (farewell to you) fare thee weel, my only love
And fare thee weel, a while!
And I will come again, my love,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

 Robert Burns

 

Funeral Blues

(Song IX / from Two Songs for Hedli Anderson)

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone.
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling in the sky the message He is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973)

 

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.

Lord G.G. Byron

 

Song

SWEETEST love, I do not goe,
For wearinesse of thee,
Nor in hope the world can show
A fitter Love for mee;
But since that I
Must dye at last, 'tis best,
To use my selfe in jest
Thus by fain'd deaths to dye;

Yesternight the Sunne went hence,
And yet is here to day,
He hath no desire nor sense,
Nor halfe so short a way:
Then feare not mee,
But beleeve that I shall make
Speedier journeyes, since I take
More wings and spurres then hee.

O how feeble is mans power
That if good fortune fall,
Cannot adde another houre,
Nor a lost houre recall!
But come bad chance,
And wee joyne to'it our strength,
And wee teach it art and length,
It selfe o'r us to'advance.

When thou sigh'st, thou sigh'st not winde,
But sigh'st my soule away,
When thou weep'st, unkindly kinde,
My lifes blood doth decay.
It cannot bee
That thou lov'st mee, as thou say'st,
If in thine my life thou waste,
Thou art the best of mee.

Let not thy divining heart
Forethinke me any ill,
Destiny may take thy part,
And may thy feares fulfill;
But thinke that wee
Are but turn'd aside to sleepe;
They who one another keepe
Alive, ne'r parted bee.

John Donne

 

CCXLV

At the mid hour of night, when stars are weeping, I fly

To the lone vale we loved, when life shone warm in thine eye;

And I think oft, if spirits can steal from the regions of air

To revisit past scenes of delight, thou wilt come to me there

And tell me our love is remember'd, even in the sky!


Then I sing the wild song it once was rapture to hear

When our voices, commingling, breathed like one on the ear;

And as Echo far off through the vale my sad orison rolls,

I think, oh my Love! 'tis thy voice, from the Kingdom of Souls

Faintly answering still the notes that once were so dear

T. Moore

 

The Light of Other Days

Oft in the stilly night
Ere slumber´s chains have bound me,
Fond memory brings the light
Of other days around me.
The smiles, the tears of boyhood years
The words of love then spoken,
The eyes that shone, now dimmed and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken.

Thus in the stilly night
Ere slumber´s chain has bound me
Fond memory brings the light
Of other days around me.

When I remember all
The friends so linked together,
I´ve seen around me fall,
Like leaves in wintery weather
I feel like one who treads alone
Some banquet hall deserted
Whose lights are fled, whose garlands dead
And all but he departed

Thus in the stilly night
Ere slumber´s chain has bound me
Fond memory brings the light
Of other days around me.

Thomas Moore
(1779-1852)

 

A Song for Music

Weep you no more, sad fountains:-
What need you flow so fast?

Look how the snowy mountains
Heaven's sun doth gently waste!

But my Sun's heavenly eyes
View not your weeping,

That now lies sleeping
Softly, now softly lies,

Sleeping.


Sleep is a reconciling,
A rest that peace begets:-

Doth not the sun rise smiling,
When fair at even he sets?

-Rest you, then, rest, sad eyes!
Melt not in weeping!

While She lies sleeping
Softly, now softly lies,

Sleeping!

Anon.