Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WATER SPORT, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

WATER SPORT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Come all who hear our song say yalding bells
Last Line: Shine like an angel to the mill boy's sight.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): Boats; England; Landscape; English

"COME all who hear our song" say Yalding bells,
And dim "We bid you come" ring Hunton's four;
Then, "Come, come, come," the dingling treble tells,
And still the echo rings a moment more.
The sunny music travelling out like bees
Was pleasant on the water's wide blue glade,
Where Cheveney mill peers through the poplar trees --
Sweet fell the summons there, but none obeyed.

Loosed from the harness of the grumbling mill,
Hungry for play, peal churchbells as they will,
The mill boy and his boon companions urge
Their crazy boat out from the bubbling verge;
And up the broad flood, gabbling as they row,
They venture proud as Vikings long ago;
Where the red butterfly with sleights and whims
Mocks the stretched hand, and where the swallow skims
To gild his wing with floss of twinkling dew.
And in the hawthorn whence the young thrush flew
The chuff vole feeds, a very alderman,
Though scared below that old leviathan
The pike shoots into surer solitude.

Pleasure is there in that old boat and rude,
And will be there, as long as the green planks
Hold each to each: as long as Sunday pranks
Startle the redhead moorhen into shelter
Or on the sleeping hatch the black weeds swelter.
Glorious will be the long adventurous day,
And sweet will vespers be, to hush their play,
When the slow ripples from the home course run
For seeming miles on miles to the dying Sun,
The dying Sun that even through the black
Sharp-jutting mill will burn with intense light;
Joy will fall deeper with the dews of night
And the new moon marred with no wraith or wrack
Shine like an angel to the mill boy's sight.

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