by: A.T. Quiller-Couch

      PASTORAL heart of England! like a psalm
      Of green days telling with a quiet beat--
      O wave into the sunset flowing calm!
      O tirèd lark descending on the wheat!
      Lies it all peace beyond the western fold
      Where now the lingering shepherd sees his star
      Rise upon Malvern? Paints an Age of Gold
      Yon cloud with prophecies of linkèd ease--
      Lulling this Land, with hills drawn up like knees,
      To drowse beside her implements of war?
      Man shall outlast his battles. They have swept
      Avon from Naseby Field to Savern Ham;
      And Evesham's dedicated stones have stepp'd
      Down to the dust with Montfort's oriflamme.
      Nor the red tear nor the reflected tower
      Abides; but yet these elegant grooves remain,
      Worn in the sandstone parapet hour by hour
      By labouring bargemen where they shifted ropes;
      E'en so shall men turn back from violent hopes
      To Adam's cheer, and toil with spade again.
      Ay, and his mother Nature, to whose lap
      Like a repentant child at length he hies,
      Nor in the whirlwind or the thunder-clap
      Proclaims her more tremendous mysteries:
      But when in winter's grave, bereft of light,
      With still, small voice divinelier whispering
      --Lifting the green head of the aconite,
      Feeding with sap of hope the hazel-shoot--
      She feels God's finger active at the root,
      Turns in her sleep, and murmurs of the Spring.

'Upon Eckington Bridge, River Avon' is reprinted from An Anthology of Modern Verse. Ed. A. Methuen. London: Methuen & Co., 1921.



[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]

Home · Poetry Store · Links · Email · © 2002 Poetry-Archive.com