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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Sun. 03/28/04 07:42:53 AM

Three by Meynell

Three poems by Alice Meynell.

In Early Spring

O Spring, I know thee! Seek for sweet surprise
      In the young children's eyes.
But I have learnt the years, and know the yet
      Leaf-folded violet.
Mine ear, awake to silence, can foretell
      The cuckoo's fitful bell.
I wander in a grey time that encloses
      June and the wild hedge-roses.
A year's procession of the flowers doth pass
      My feet, along the grass.
And all you wild birds silent yet, I know
      The notes that stir you so,
Your songs yet half devised in the dim dear
       Beginnings of the year.
In these young days you meditate your part;
      I have it all by heart.

I know the secrets of the seeds of flowers
      Hidden and warm with showers,
And how, in kindling Spring, the cuckoo shall
      Alter his interval.
But not a flower or song I ponder is
      My own, but memory's.
I shall be silent in those days desired
      Before a world inspired.
O all brown birds, compose your old song-phrases,
      Earth, thy familiar daisies!

A poet mused upon the dusky height,
      Between two stars towards night,
His purpose in his heart. I watched, a space,
      The meaning of his face:
There was the secret, fled from earth and skies,
      Hid in his grey young eyes.
My heart and all the Summer wait his choice,
      And wonder for his voice.
Who shall foretell his songs, and who aspire
      But to divine his lyre?
Sweet earth, we know thy dimmest mysteries,
      But he is lord of his.

(from "Early Poems")

Spring on the Alban Hills

O'er the Campagna it is dim warm weather;
   The Spring comes with a full heart silently,
   And many thoughts; a faint flash of the sea
Divides two mists; straight falls the falling feather.

With wild Spring meanings hill and plain together
   Grow pale, or just flush with a dust of flowers.
   Rome in the ages, dimmed with all her towers,
Floats in the midst, a little cloud at tether.

I fain would put my hands about thy face,
   Thou with thy thoughts, who art another Spring,
      And draw thee to me like a mournful child.

Thou lookest on me from another place;
   I touch not this day's secret, nor the thing
      That in the silence makes thy soft eyes wild.

(from "Early Poems")

The Spring to the Summer
The Poet sings to her Poet

O poet of the time to be,
My conqueror, I began for thee.
   Enter into thy poet’s pain,
   And take the riches of the rain,
And make the perfect year for me.

Thou unto whom my lyre shall fall,
Whene'er thou comest, hear my call.
   O keep the promise of my lays,
   Take thou the parable of my days;
I trust thee with the aim of all.

And if thy thoughts unfold from me,
Know that I too have hints of thee,
   Dim hopes that come across my mind
   In the rare days of warmer wind,
And tones of summer in the sea.

And I have set thy paths, I guide
Thy blossoms on the wild hillside.
   And I, thy bygone poet, share
   The flowers that throng thy feet where'er
I led thy feet before I died.

(from "Early Poems")

The Poems of Alice Meynell: Complete Edition (1923), pp. 3, 25, 42. The book is on line here.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 03/28/04 07:42:53 AM
Categorized as Literary & Sunday Poetry Series.


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Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”