Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wojsko Polskie Homecoming

From "The Warsaw Songbook"

Saturday. It's Parade Day.
The children are running along,
chasing down Marshall Street
soldiers marching back home.
And the popping of their balloons
sounds like the popping of enemy guns.

There's music, there's dancing,
and bright colors falling around.
The children are all laughing
as black boots are pounding the ground.
And the popping of their balloons
sounds like the popping of enemy guns.

The sun is shining, flags are flying,
the crowd is a jubilant sea.
Along the street, the children scream
in excitement at all they see.
And the popping of their balloons
sounds likes the popping of enemy guns.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Thwaites Scars

Here, a fitting place to roam;
here to wander, far from home.
- Gwyllyn

Roofless wildlands, hillocks bare,
touched by frost on mornings fair,
when sun in mighty splendour shines,
when mingled draughts of golden wines
are poured out on the earthen-seas,
on cresting waves of stony lees
which never break upon the shore,
upon the bleak and blessëd moor.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Miss Emily Thurloe

She ventured into the Yorkshire hills
with storm clouds gathering nigh,
decked with white and wilted frills,
to send up pleadings to the sky.

Heeding no darkness nor autumn storm,
she ascended the weathered ridge alone.
She had no blanket to keep her warm,
but she lay down on the bare limestone.

The stars were hidden, the moon shone faint
from behind the churning canopy.
She tried to utter a cold complaint
to the One her faith alone could see.

Yet words came not, nor slightest sound;
as mute as churchyard stones was she.
The winds were strong and whipped around,
through withered grass and leafless tree.

And at last, as bitter torrents fell
upon the uplands bleak and rough,
she lay there weeping, cold and pale,
and it was prayer, and was enough.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cast upon the crags, a pearl

Cast upon the crags, a pearl
shimmered beside the deep abyss;
a lovely but very lonesome girl,
who saw the cold world as it is.

"No blissful realm to stay for long,"
she heard in the water's ocean-song.

But small she was, and wide the world;
she feared what living in it brings.
In her mind, many sorrows unfurled;
the dark waves told her of these things.

The ocean-voice she could not quell,
nor go back to her quiet shell.

"Listen deep, O pearl, then deeper still,"
the water-words intoned to her.
"A King rules here with a higher Will,
with purposes both good and sure."

"After your griefs, He will reach down
to set you ever in His golden crown."

Friday, September 20, 2013

At middle-night, on upland heights

At middle-night, on upland heights
along a shelf of time-scarred rock,
he would wander beneath the lights
of the glittering celestial clock.

But untold the hours he tarried there,
while wind seethed past him in the grass;
the moon sailed on the night-sea fair
and none came nigh him to harass.

Ever and anon on such mild nights
he made his bed in heather deep
until dawn touched the upland heights
to gently wake him from his sleep.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A fading light upon the moor

Someday I shall surely be
a fading light upon the moor,
a golden wave falling quietly
with joy upon another shore.

At gloaming time, each lark and merlin
settles into a welcome nest
hidden in the blooming heather-glen
with all their kin to take their rest.

And as shadows deepen across the lands,
the winds bestir the leaves to wave;
the stars blaze bright like silver-brands
on the moor as quiet as the grave.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The rude and wild winter weather

The rude and wild winter weather
contrives to keep us not together;
it troubles all these Yorkshire hills,
it breaks and batters, freezes, kills.

Cloud-shadows pass across the heath,
the wind bites hard with bitter teeth.
The gorse-grass shivers in the cold,
the crowberry cowers upon the mould.

At noontide, a tattered raven croaks
from bare and frosty windswept oaks.
He knows not why the maiden weeps,
but with the trees a vigil he keeps.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pale is the sunlight

Pale is the sunlight upon her brow,
and fragile her smile, like a withered leaf
that rattles upon the winter bough
in icy breezes, with a crumpled grief,
while upland stones and coarse grasses,
lie dormant under the dusking skies,
on the lonely heath, as the fair sun passes
and pale stars appear in her eyes.

Monday, September 16, 2013

In bending heather upon the moor

In bending heather upon the moor,
in damp and ghastly winds, the poor
and crippled dove, spent from flight,
shudders and moans in grey moonlight.

Her fair wings are torn, her spirit bruised,
wearied by daylight, and by night confused.
Her wounds will not be swiftly mended,
in such desolate lands, so undefended.

Shadows are but small refuge from danger,
to such a frail damsel, to such a stranger
upon the moor, in the bending heather,
in the coming fierce and frigid weather.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Before the harvest time

From "Songs and Poems" by C. James Gwyllyn (1871-1914).
 
You must come before the harvest time,
when all the fields are gold, when apples
swell and shine upon the bending boughs,
before the leaves die upon the ground.

Me, with all my faults, under autumn skies
and you, with your innocence, by my side
I'm certain everything will be fine
as long as we make the most of this time.

So come, let's sit in the warmth while it lasts,
eat apples now ripe, amidst the falling leaves.
I know you're too young to really understand;
you have my very soul in your hands.

The light in my skies is fading to grey,
finally fading, at the end of the day.
I'm calling, calling, calling to you
from a million miles away.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Such gorgeous array

Such gorgeous array. We stood together
watching the beacon fires, in their blessëd fury,
burn bright upon the far limestone shore.
Her eyes were intent upon the flames,
magnificent in the uncertain night. 
Slight breezes made small ripple-waves
which caught fire in the raging light, 
then slipped into secret shadows
to whisper tales of unforgotten grief.
She reached down and struck the water
with a gentle wrath. The fire-light 
became confused upon the lake. 
She faded away under the autumn stars
and was gone.