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Best Famous Laurie Lee Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Laurie Lee poems. This is a select list of the best famous Laurie Lee poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Laurie Lee poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Laurie Lee poems.

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by Laurie Lee |

Milkmaid

 The girl's far treble, muted to the heat,
calls like a fainting bird across the fields
to where her flock lies panting for her voice,
their black horns buried deep in marigolds.

They climb awake, like drowsy butterflies,
and press their red flanks through the tall branched grass,
and as they go their wandering tongues embrace
the vacant summer mirrored in their eyes.

Led to the limestone shadows of a barn
they snuff their past embalmed in the hay,
while her cool hand, cupped to the udder's fount,
distils the brimming harvest of their day.

Look what a cloudy cream the earth gives out,
fat juice of buttercups and meadow-rye;
the girl dreams milk within her body's field
and hears, far off, her muted children cry.


by Laurie Lee |

Home From Abroad

 Far-fetched with tales of other worlds and ways, 
My skin well-oiled with wines of the Levant, 
I set my face into a filial smile 
To greet the pale, domestic kiss of Kent. 

But shall I never learn? That gawky girl, 
Recalled so primly in my foreign thoughts, 
Becomes again the green-haired queen of love 
Whose wanton form dilates as it delights. 

Her rolling tidal landscape floods the eye 
And drowns Chianti in a dusky stream; 
he flower-flecked grasses swim with simple horses, 
The hedges choke with roses fat as cream. 

So do I breathe the hayblown airs of home, 
And watch the sea-green elms drip birds and shadows, 
And as the twilight nets the plunging sun 
My heart's keel slides to rest among the meadows.


by Laurie Lee |

Day of These Days

 Such a morning it is when love
leans through geranium windows
and calls with a cockerel's tongue.

When red-haired girls scamper like roses
over the rain-green grass;
and the sun drips honey.

When hedgerows grow venerable,
berries dry black as blood,
and holes suck in their bees.

Such a morning it is when mice
run whispering from the church,
dragging dropped ears of harvest.

When the partridge draws back his spring
and shoots like a buzzing arrow
over grained and mahogany fields.

When no table is bare,
and no beast dry,
and the tramp feeds on ribs of rabbit.


by Laurie Lee |

April Rise

 If ever I saw blessing in the air 
I see it now in this still early day 
Where lemon-green the vaporous morning drips 
Wet sunlight on the powder of my eye. 

Blown bubble-film of blue, the sky wraps round 
Weeds of warm light whose every root and rod 
Splutters with soapy green, and all the world 
Sweats with the bead of summer in its bud. 

If ever I heard blessing it is there 
Where birds in trees that shoals and shadows are 
Splash with their hidden wings and drops of sound 
Break on my ears their crests of throbbing air. 

Pure in the haze the emerald sun dilates, 
The lips of sparrows milk the mossy stones, 
While white as water by the lake a girl 
Swims her green hand among the gathered swans. 

Now, as the almond burns its smoking wick, 
Dropping small flames to light the candled grass; 
Now, as my low blood scales its second chance, 
If ever world were blessed, now it is.


by Laurie Lee |

Town Owl

 On eves of cold, when slow coal fires,
rooted in basements, burn and branch,
brushing with smoke the city air;
When quartered moons pale in the sky,
and neons glow along the dark
like deadly nightshade on a briar;
Above the muffled traffic then
I hear the owl, and at his note
I shudder in my private chair.
For like an auger he has come
to roost among our crumbling walls,
his blooded talons sheathed in fur.
Some secret lure of time it seems
has called him from his country wastes
to hunt a newer wasteland here.
And where the candlabra swung
bright with the dancers’ thousand eyes,
now his black, hooded pupils stare,
And where the silk-shoed lovers ran
with dust of diamonds in their hair,
he opens now his silent wing,
And, like a stroke of doom, drops down,
and swoops across the empty hall,
and plucks a quick mouse off the stair...


by Laurie Lee |

Apples

 Behold the apples’ rounded worlds:
juice-green of July rain,
the black polestar of flowers, the rind
mapped with its crimson stain.

The russet, crab and cottage red
burn to the sun’s hot brass,
then drop like sweat from every branch
and bubble in the grass.

They lie as wanton as they fall,
and where they fall and break,
the stallion clamps his crunching jaws,
the starling stabs his beak.

In each plump gourd the cidery bite
of boys’ teeth tears the skin;
the waltzing wasp consumes his share,
the bent worm enters in.

I, with as easy hunger, take
entire my season’s dole;
welcome the ripe, the sweet, the sour,
the hollow and the whole.