Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AFTERWARDS, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN

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AFTERWARDS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Those olden royal sunsettings
Last Line: No circe charms.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund

THOSE olden royal sunsettings
Have dwindled from the barren years;
A shadow hides us ancient kings
And pioneers.

When shall we see the wonderways
Where led the lustrous limbs of dawn,
Whose sometime beauty wolfish days
Have spoiled and gnawn:

From set of sun to rise of sun
The dim ship communing with stars,
And plashing onward till she won
New harbour-bars:

Or, girt with sloth of yellow heat,
Oared toilsomely to bight or creek,
Or battling with great groundswell's beat,
Sirocco's shriek?

Now, nothing is but talk and tale
Of underwhirl and octopus:
Of blind shelf whence the seamew's wail
Was warning us:

Of blue rocks clashing hoarse with crime,
Of Gorgon gazing life to stone,
Of all things that the perished time
Has made our own.

So up the bleak hill creeps the plough,
Pulled by the slavering shambling steers;
So from the sullen valleys now
We turn in tears.

We till and sow the stubble ley,
And labour on our little farms;
No Siren sings us down from sea,
No Circe charms.

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