Epilogue

For W. H. Auden

Now the winter nights begin
Lonely comfort walls me in
So before the memory slip
I review our Iceland trip--

Not for me romantic nor
Idyll on a mythic shore
But a fancy turn, you know,
Sandwiched in a graver show.

Down in Europe Seville fell,
Nations germinating hell,
The Olympic games were run--
Spots upon the Aryan sun.

And the don in me set forth
How the landscape of the north
Had educed the saga style
Plodding forward mile by mile.

And the don in you replied
That the North begins inside,
Our ascetic guts require
Breathers from the Latin fire.

So although no ghost was scotched
We were happy while we watched
Ravens from their walls of shale
Cruise around the rotting whale,

-62-

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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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