Eclogue Between the Motherless

What did you do for the holiday?

I went home.

What did you do?

O, I went home for the holiday.

Had a good time?

Not bad as far as it went.

What about you?

O quite a good time on the whole--

(both) Quite a good time on the whole at home for the
holiday

As far as it went--In a way it went too far,
Back to childhood, back to the backwoods mind;
I could not stand a great deal of it, bars on the
brain
And the blinds drawn in the drawingroom not to
fade the chair covers
There were no blinds drawn in ours; my father
has married again--
A girl of thirty who had never had any lovers
And wants to have everything bright
That sounds worse than us.

Our old house is just a grass-grown tumulus,
My father sits by himself with the bossed decanter,
The garden is going to rack, the gardener
Only comes three days, most of our money was in
linen

My new stepmother is wealthy, you should see her
in jodhpurs
Brisking in to breakfast from a morning canter.
I don't think he can be happy

How can you tell?

-40-

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The Earth Compels
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents 3
  • Carrickfergus 7
  • June Thunder 9
  • The Sunlight on the Garden 10
  • Chess 11
  • The Heated Minutes 12
  • Iceland 13
  • Solvitur Acris Hiems 16
  • Passage Steamer 17
  • Circus 18
  • Homage to Clichés 22
  • On Those Islands 25
  • Eclogue from Iceland 29
  • Eclogue Between the Motherless 40
  • Leaving Barra 47
  • Hidden Ice 49
  • Taken for Granted 50
  • Thank You 51
  • Books, Do Not Look at Me 52
  • Only Let It Form 53
  • Now That the Shapes of Mist 54
  • Christmas Shopping 55
  • Bagpipe Music 58
  • Rugby Football Excursion 60
  • Epilogue 62
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