Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE KILN, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN



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THE KILN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Beside the creek where seldom oar or sail
Last Line: Of once grave seers, her iris woos the wind.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): Furnaces; Ruins; Kilns


BESIDE the creek where seldom oar or sail
Adventures, and the gulls whistling like men
Patrol the pasture of the falling tide,
Like Timon's mansion stands the silent kiln.
Half citadel, half temple, strong it stands
With layered stones built into cavernous curves,
The fire-vault now as cool as leaves and stones
And dews can be. Here came my flitting thought,
The only visitor of a sunny day,
Except the half-mad wasp that fights with all,
The leaping cricket in his apple-green,
And emerald beetle with his golden helmet;
While the south wind woke all the colony
Of sorrels and sparse daisies, berried ivies
And thorns bowed down with sloes, and brambles red
Offering a feast that no child came to take.

In these unwanted derelicts of man
Nature has touched the picture with a smile
Of more than usual mystery; the far heights
With thunderous forest marshalled are her toil,
But this her toy, her petty larceny
That pleased her, lurking like a gipsy girl.
My thought came here with artfulness like hers
To spy on her, and, though she fled, pursued
To where on eastern islands, in the cells
Of once grave seers, her iris woos the wind.





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