Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry: Explained, TO ALICE MEYNELL, by JOHN DRINKWATER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

TO ALICE MEYNELL, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

Here in the north, in this tempestuous place,

This old-world town with gables richly graced,

I have seen much to stir the blood, and traced

Its history, heavy with the changing years.

But none of all this holds me, none beguiles,

As do these walls that, in their massiveness,

Hint at a story older than old Merlin's,

A story older than the stones themselves.

I have seen many castles, in many lands,

That spoke of glory, of a lordly past;

But here, where earth and sky are in the blast

Of winter from the north, and warred with seas,

Here there is something more, something beyond,

Something that is both of earth and sky,

That gathers up in one the infinite,

The sea's eternal roar and the still stars.

Here is a fortress and a memory,

Here is a tower of strength that was not built

To hold mere flesh and blood, but to encompass

A people, the gathered wills of men,

The souls of their forefathers, the unspent

And unspent ardours of their children's children.

Here then, in this great place, I have seen much,

Have felt much, thought much, and have found at last

The quality of a high and holy dream,

A dream of heritage and destiny,

Of dignity and purpose, in which we may

Find our own greatness and the meaning of our days.


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