Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A PASTORAL, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN



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A PASTORAL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When the young year is sweetest, when the year
Last Line: That might be hushed, unless you come ere long.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): England; Landscape; English


WHEN the young year is sweetest, when the year
Is a symphony of sounds and scents and seeings
That gather in the sky in shining clouds,
And souls fly nearer their glad soul a moment
-- Then Collins Meadow is the place to walk.
To know it afar, it's worthy with those colours
That old and saintly patiences inbloomed
On sacred leaves of missals: all around
The land's a sweet book, close is a sweet page,
But this the initial and the crowned A.
Then, poet, take your subtlest instrument,
That the grace and marvel may repeated flow
Beyond their range, since hills and woods immure,
To them who never came here. The dead artist
Hath left men vases where awhile is held
A rosy odour, and an ecstasy:
But you, with words of sooner perished clay,
To catch and cup but a millionth drop of the joy
That in this meadow runs, swims, slides, basks, rings --
Call to the ghosts of Ida, for they knew.
Meantime the lonely soul will hover here
In bright transcendence and in humble prayer
Till one companion come through dewy leaves.

The young year being so rosy now,
Sound, scent and seeing one posy now,
The sunny symphony of pastoral reeds
Hovering and sparkling as the west wind leads
With such a touch on harps of weeds
As makes each one Apollo's bough --
The young year gleaming white and blue
Walks in the sun, and will not you?
In these green freedoms there's no sense
Of what the tithe-map feigns a fence --
This meadow is the one we find
On clumsier surveys close confined,
But to my mind it none the less
Answers the kin sky's boundlessness:
In this savannah Number's span
Is nothing; past his topmost plan
Would spring the star-flowers, and a linnet
Hold her house, and five young in it.
Come you will: here all is well --
The far church clock with judging bell
Is but one ban:
One low note falls,
One sad and solitary trumpet calls,
One dull drum blackens on the rich blue firmament of song:
But the west wind he will wean us away,
He again on his ravishing pipes does play,
And up among the living air
Makes holiday and magic there --
That might be hushed, unless you come ere long.





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