Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO ORANGES, by NORMAN ROWLAND GALE



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TO ORANGES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: You thousand yellow worlds from spain
Last Line: Along the babel length of strand!
Subject(s): London; Oranges


YOU thousand yellow worlds from Spain
Upon a barrow piled,
And bartered for the timid pence
Of some desirous child,
How well your smooth and shining spheres
Recall the years
When by that sunny inland sea
I dreamed great dreams that may not be
Translated to reality!

Throughout the gradual day
You fade away,
As dreams.
Hoarsely the invitation of your master goes
Adown the street;
With careless-cunning hand he throws
To children's innocence
Some value for their pence;
And his proud pyramid of fruit
From apex unto base descends;
Each golden atom blends
With all the large and general life
That throbs through London strife.

You ride to far suburban homes
In Arabella's cosy muff—
The one that Cousin Herbert gave,
All newness, warmth, and fluff!
The haggard merchant rushing by
Thinks sweetly of his nursery
Where Ralph and Jenny watch the rain
Becloud the pane.
If he should miss the train!
The Coster, cordial, winks;
God bless the babes, the merchant thinks,
If I should lose the six
There's one at seven,
And these will make a little heaven
For those two angels whom I love!
Off goes his glove!
Out comes a threepenny bit!
And the abysses of the bag are lit
By leaping rounds of yellow rain—
Soft tumbling circles fresh from Spain!

O Spanish captives in the Strand,
That pour the south along the street,
A man in pleasantness may stand
And read your history awhile:
Thus you have made me smile,
And made me sigh,
For as you go, go I.
My pyramid of hours grows less,
Fewer the lips that laugh,
The hands that bless,

And rarely comes a greeting kind
To make my heart the quicker beat.
I am not fruit, but rind,
You golden exiles of the street,
That, severed from your parent land,
Convey the south
Along the Babel length of Strand!





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