Poetry – In Dorset

From muddy road to muddy lane
I plodded through the falling rain;
For miles and miles was nothing there
But mist, and mud, and hedges bare.

At length approaching I espied
Two gipsy women side by side;
They turned their faces broad and bold
And brown and freshened by the cold,
And stared at me in gipsy wise
With shrewd, unfriendly, savage eyes.

No word they said, no more dared I;
And so we passed each other by—
The only living things that met
In all those miles of mist and wet.

— Frances Darwin Cornford

Poetry – A Wasted Day

I spoiled the day;
Hotly, in haste,
All the calm hours
I gashed and defaced.

Let me forget,
Let me embark
—Sleep for my boat—
And sail through the dark.

Till a new day
Heaven shall send,
Whole as an apple,
Kind as a friend.

— Frances Darwin Cornford

Poetry – As Time Glides On

I wear not the purple of earth-born kings,
Nor the stately ermine of lordly things;
But monarch and courtier though great they be,
Must fall from their glory, and bend to me.
My sceptre is gemless; yet who can say
They will not come under its mighty sway?
Ye may learn who I am,—there’s the passing chime
And the dial to herald me—Old King Time!

— Eliza Cook

Poetry – November

Dark visaged visitor, who comest here,
Clad in thy mournful tunic, to repeat
(While glooms and chilling rains enwrap thy feet)
The solemn requiem of the dying year;
Not undelightful to my list’ning ear
Sound thy dull showers, as o’er my woodland seat
Dismal and drear the leafless trees they beat:
Not undelightful, in their wild career,
Is the wild music of thy howling blasts,
Sweeping the grove’s long aisle, while sullen Time
Thy stormy mantle o’er his shoulder casts,
And, rocked upon his throne, with chant sublime,
Joins the full pealing dirge, and Winter weaves
Her dark, sepulchral wreath of faded leaves.

— George Thompson Hutchinson

Poetry – Peach

Would you like to throw a stone at me?
Here, take all that’s left of my peach.

Blood-red, deep;
Heaven knows how it came to pass.
Somebody’s pound of flesh rendered up.

Wrinkled with secrets
And hard with the intention to keep them.

Why, from silvery peach-bloom,
From that shallow-silvery wine-glass on a short stem
This rolling, dropping, heavy globule?

I am thinking, of course, of the peach before I ate it.

Why so velvety, why so voluptuous heavy?
Why hanging with such inordinate weight?
Why so indented?

Why the groove?
Why the lovely, bivalve roundnesses?
Why the ripple down the sphere?
Why the suggestion of incision?

Why was not my peach round and finished like a billiard ball?
It would have been if man had made it.
Though I’ve eaten it now.

But it wasn’t round and finished like a billiard ball.
And because I say so, you would like to throw something at me.

Here, you can have my peach stone.

— San Gervasio

Poetry – October

Ay, thou art welcome, heaven’s delicious breath,
When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief,
And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
Wind of the sunny south! Oh, still delay
In the gay woods and in the golden air,
Like to a good old age released from care,
Journeying, in long serenity, away,
In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
Might wear out life like thee, ‘mid bowers and brooks,
And, dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
And music of kind voices ever nigh;
And, when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.

W. C. Bryant

Poetry – Pomegranate

You tell me I am wrong.
Who are you, who is anybody to tell me I am wrong?
I am not wrong.

In Syracuse, rock left bare by the viciousness of Greek women,
No doubt you have forgotten the pomegranate-trees in flower,
Oh so red, and such a lot of them.

Whereas at Venice
Abhorrent, green, slippery city
Whose Doges were old, and had ancient eyes,
In the dense foliage of the inner garden
Pomegranates like bright green stone,
And barbed, barbed with a crown.
Oh, crown of spiked green metal
Actually growing!

Now in Tuscany,
Pomegranates to warm your hands at;
And crowns, kingly, generous, tilting crowns
Over the left eyebrow.

And, if you dare, the fissure!

Do you mean to tell me you will see no fissure?
Do you prefer to look on the plain side?

For all that, the setting suns are open.
The end cracks open with the beginning:
Rosy, tender, glittering within the fissure.

Do you mean to tell me there should be no fissure?
No glittering, compact drops of dawn?

Do you mean it is wrong, the gold-filmed skin, integument, shown ruptured?

For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken.
It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.

— San Gervasio in Tuscany