Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PASTURE POND, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE PASTURE POND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: By the pasture pond alone
Last Line: Their solitary pasture-pond.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): England; Lakes; Landscape; English; Pools; Ponds


By the pasture pond alone
I'll call the landscape all my own,
Be the lord of all I see
From water-fly to topmost tree,
And on these riches gloat this day
Till the blue mist warns away.

Here's no malice that could wither
Joy's blown flower, nor dare come hither;
No hot hurry such as drives
Men through their unsolaced lives;
Here like bees I cannot fare
A span but find some honey there.

The small birds and great as well
In these trees and closes dwell,
No cause found to grudge or brawl,
For nature gives enough for all;
Crows don't care what starling delves
Among these mole-heaps like themselves.

You thrush that haunt the mellow ground
And run with those quick glances round,
You'll run and revel through my brain
For a blue moon befooling pain;
You elms so full of birds and song,
Wear green coats there the winter long.

From the meadows smooth and still,
Where the peewits feed their fill
And into swirling rings upfly
With white breasts dazzling on the eye,
To the pool itself I come
And like rapture am struck dumb:

For if fields and air are free
The water's double liberty,
Where milch cows dewlap-deep may wade
Or hernshaw ply his angling trade --
Else what but vision dares intrude
That many-peopled solitude?

The astonished clouds seem lingering here
For dragon-flies so whip and veer
And take the sun and turn to flame,
They'd make the fastest cloud seem lame,
Or breaths of wind that sometimes fly
And cut faint furrows and are by.

So well may I admire the pool
Where thistles with their caps of wool
(Whence those sly winds some flecks purloin)
Stand sentinels at every coign,
And sorrels rusty-red have banned
Each place the thistles left unmanned.

But passing through, an old ally,
Into the bright deeps I may spy,
Where merry younkers, roach or rudd,
Jump for the fly and flounce and scud;
That care for no one now, and live
For every pleasure pools can give.

In russet weeds, by the sunken boat,
That spare each other room to float,
They hide along, grown fine and fat;
I hear them like a lapping cat
Feed from the stems till hunger's done --
Then out afresh to find the sun.

The moorhen, too, as proud as they,
With jerking neck is making way
In horse-shoe creeks where old pike rest
And beetles skate in jostling jest;
And overhead as large as wrens
Dance hobby-horses of the fens --

From all these happy folk I find
Life's radiance kindle in my mind,
And even when homeward last I turn
How bright the hawthorn berries burn,
How steady in the old elm still
The great woodpecker strikes his bill;

Whose labour oft in vain is given,
Yet never he upbraids high heaven;
Such trust is his. O I have heard
No sweeter from a singing bird
Than his tap-tapping there this day,
That said what words will never say.

But bells from humble steeples call,
Nor will I be the last of all
To pass between the ringers strong
And as of old make evensong;
While over pond and plat and hall
The first of sleep begins to fall.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream!
Through the yew the sun's last gleam
Lights into a glory extreme
The squirrel-carven pews that dream
Of my fathers far beyond
Their solitary pasture-pond.





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