Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, POMONA, by PATRICK REGINALD CHALMERS

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POMONA, by            
First Line: The hive's full of honey, the steading of stacks
Last Line: Perhaps not the goddess, but one of her girls!
Subject(s): Apples; Autumn; Fruit; Seasons; Women; Fall

THE hive's full of honey, the steading of stacks,
The stubbles are bare to the sunshine again,
There's a wind in the branches that eddies and backs
That whispers of Autumn, that whispers of rain.
The orchards are mellow with red globes and yellow,
The matronly months of fulfilment are now,
So now must we turn to their goddess, and yearn to
Pomona, beloved of the fruit-burdened bough!

The swallows have gone from the eaves and the spire,
From the garden has faded the pomp of high June,
But crimson's the maple, the woods are a-fire,
And filling with woodcock beneath the new moon;
Folk say that she lingers with berry-stained fingers
On field-paths that clamber by cottage and croft,
Pomona, dear maiden, whose brown arms are laden
With fruit and with fullness for cellar and loft!

Oh, some may build altars for Dian, and some
For Cyprian Venus who rose from the sea,
And some for the Muses the learned and glum,
But no such fine ladies for mortals like me.
No doubt they are charming; I'd find them alarming;
And when did they offer to quench a man's thirst?
Pomona, provider of tanged autumn cider,
Our lady of apples, she's easily first!

Since you'd offer libation, this method is mine—
Go up by the footpath (the high roads I shun),
And ten miles of walking will show you her shrine,
An inn with a settle that faces the sun;
And absent if She be, an apple-cheeked Hebe
Shall pour you her nectar that winks and that swirls;
She's brown and she's smiling, she's plump, she's beguiling,
Perhaps not the goddess, but one of her girls!

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