Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WASTE GROUND, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN



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WASTE GROUND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The wheat crowds close, the land falls sharp
Last Line: The neighbours of a niche for fable.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): England; Landscape; English


THE wheat crowds close, the land falls sharp,
And shrubs of all sorts mark the scarp,
Where birds are welcome, sweet or shrill,
To share all secrets save man's will,
And moths as dappled as the pard
Or brown as Caribs pass the guard.

Here's a place but rarely trod,
And belongs to some old god.
Deep adown we tell the stream
By a whisper or a gleam;
Willow leaves wrapt grey above
Like the feathers of a dove,
And such green thickets gathered round,
The ripple might be underground.
Thistles, most, jump from the marl,
Baring teeth in sullen snarl.
Perhaps when Magog was a child
They grew in gardens, lilies wild;
Injured here they nurse their grievance;
Briars and nettles nod connivance.
Beyond, the brook bedews the lane,
The gravel groans beneath the wain;
The peeping leveret pricks his ears,
But to his sweetmeat soon repairs;
So ancient is the solitude,
So rarely is the fort reviewed,
Here the saddest soul might come
And for philosophy have room,
And old gods well find messuage
To sleep away a graceless age.

And yet on this the church top stares,
And some hallooing gargoyle glares,
Even gardens lie a stone's throw hence
With white clothes sunning on the fence,
And hayricks rise by the Black Boy stable,
The neighbours of a niche for fable.





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