Modern Verse in English, 1900-1950

By David Cecil; Allen Tate | Go to book overview
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The dented boy's lip and the close
Archer's shoulders; but here to rediscover
By tides and faults of weather, by the rain
Which washes everything, the critic and the lover.

At the doors of Africa so many towns founded
Upon a parting could become Alexandria, like
The wife of Lot-a metaphor for tears;
And the queer student in his poky hot
Tenth floor room above the harbour hears
The sirens shaking the tree of his heart,
And shuts his books, while the most
Inexpressible longings like wounds unstitched
Stir in him some girl's unquiet ghost.

So we, learning to suffer and not condemn
Can only wish you this great pure wind
Condemned by Greece, and turning like a helm
Inland where it smokes the fires of men,
Spins weathercocks on farms or catches
The lovers at their quarrel in the sheets;
Or like a walker in the darkness might,
Knocks and disturbs the artist at his papers
Up there alone, upon the alps of night.


Anne Ridler (Br. b. 1912)

Zennor

(for J. L. and L. B. Hammond)

Seen from these cliffs the sea circles slowly.
Ponderous and blue today, with waves furled,
Slowly it crosses the curved world.
We wind in its waters with the tide,
But the pendent ships afar
Where the lightest blue and low clouds are
We lose as they hover and over the horizon slide.

-557-

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Modern Verse in English, 1900-1950
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