Modern Verse in English, 1900-1950

By David Cecil; Allen Tate | Go to book overview
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There are voices of children, musical and thin,
Not far, nor near, there in the sandy hills;
As the light begins to wane, so the tide comes in,
The shallow creek at our feet silently fills:

And silently, like sleep to the weary mind,
Silently, like the evening after the day,
The big ship bears inshore with the inshore wind,
Changes her course, and comes on up through the bay,

Rolling along the fair deep channel she knows,
Surging along, right on top of the tide.
I see the flowery wreath of foam at the bows,
The long bright wash streaming away from her side:

I see the flashing gulls that follow her in,
Screaming and tumbling, like children wildly at play,
The sea-born crescent arising, pallid and thin,
The flat safe twilight shore shelving away.

Whether remembered or dreamed, read of or told,
So it has dwelt with me, so it shall dwell with me ever:
The brave ship coming home like a lamb to the fold,
Home with the tide into the mighty river.


Sacheverell Sitwell (Br. b. 1897)

From Landscape with the Giant Orion: Orion Seeks the Goddess Diana

We will wait by the chestnut and the ilex tree,
There's a fable acting, and the thud of footsteps,
The lightning flickers but there is no thunder.
Listen, ah! listen to the distant wind;
It is cold, snow cold, it blows from bitter rocks
Where the nymphs cry out aloud and weep in sorrow:
They tell the loves of deities and demi-gods,
In a thousand passions from the age of Chaos,
They cry like sea birds on the grey, salt sea
For bitterness of love and never for its sweets;
Hark! how they weep; the wind is bitter cold.

-411-

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Modern Verse in English, 1900-1950
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