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Best Famous William Allingham Poems

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by William Allingham | |

On a Forenoon of Spring

 I'm glad I am alive, to see and feel 
The full deliciousness of this bright day, 
That's like a heart with nothing to conceal; 
The young leaves scarcely trembling; the blue-grey 
Rimming the cloudless ether far away; 
Brairds, hedges, shadows; mountains that reveal 
Soft sapphire; this great floor of polished steel 
Spread out amidst the landmarks of the bay.
I stoop in sunshine to our circling net From the black gunwale; tend these milky kine Up their rough path; sit by yon cottage-door Plying the diligent thread; take wings and soar-- O hark how with the season's laureate Joy culminates in song! If such a song were mine!


by William Allingham | |

An Evening

 A sunset's mounded cloud; 
A diamond evening-star; 
Sad blue hills afar; 
Love in his shroud.
Scarcely a tear to shed; Hardly a word to say; The end of a summer day; Sweet Love dead.


by William Allingham | |

Autumnal Sonnet

 Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods, 
And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt, 
And night by night the monitory blast 
Wails in the key-hold, telling how it pass'd 
O'er empty fields, or upland solitudes, 
Or grim wide wave; and now the power is felt 
Of melancholy, tenderer in its moods 
Than any joy indulgent summer dealt.
Dear friends, together in the glimmering eve, Pensive and glad, with tones that recognise The soft invisible dew in each one's eyes, It may be, somewhat thus we shall have leave To walk with memory,--when distant lies Poor Earth, where we were wont to live and grieve.


by William Allingham | |

A Seed

 See how a Seed, which Autumn flung down, 
And through the Winter neglected lay, 
Uncoils two little green leaves and two brown, 
With tiny root taking hold on the clay 
As, lifting and strengthening day by day, 
It pushes red branchless, sprouts new leaves, 
And cell after cell the Power in it weaves 
Out of the storehouse of soil and clime, 
To fashion a Tree in due course of time; 
Tree with rough bark and boughs' expansion, 
Where the Crow can build his mansion, 
Or a Man, in some new May, 
Lie under whispering leaves and say, 
"Are the ills of one's life so very bad 
When a Green Tree makes me deliciously glad?" 
As I do now.
But where shall I be When this little Seed is a tall green Tree?


by William Allingham | |

A Singer

 That which he did not feel, he would not sing; 
What most he felt, religion it was to hide 
In a dumb darkling grotto, where the spring 
Of tremulous tears, arising unespied, 
Became a holy well that durst not glide 
Into the day with moil or murmuring; 
Whereto, as if to some unlawful thing, 
He sto]e, musing or praying at its side.
But in the sun he sang with cheerful heart, Of coloured season and the whirling sphere, Warm household habitude and human mirth, The whole faith-blooded mystery of earth; And I, who had his secret, still could hear The grotto's whisper low through every part.


by William Allingham | |

Meadowsweet

 Through grass, through amber'd cornfields, our slow Stream-- 
Fringed with its flags and reeds and rushes tall, 
And Meadowsweet, the chosen of them all 
By wandering children, yellow as the cream 
Of those great cows--winds on as in a dream 
By mill and footbridge, hamlet old and small 
(Red roofs, gray tower), and sees the sunset gleam 
On mullion'd windows of an ivied Hall.
There, once upon a time, the heavy King Trod out its perfume from the Meadowsweet, Strown like a woman's love beneath his feet, In stately dance or jovial banqueting, When all was new; and in its wayfaring Our Streamlet curved, as now, through grass and wheat.


by William Allingham | |

The Boy

 The Boy from his bedroom-window 
Look'd over the little town, 
And away to the bleak black upland 
Under a clouded moon.
The moon came forth from her cavern, He saw the sudden gleam Of a tarn in the swarthy moorland; Or perhaps the whole was a dream.
For I never could find that water In all my walks and rides: Far-off, in the Land of Memory, That midnight pool abides.
Many fine things had I glimpse of, And said, "I shall.
find them one day.
" Whether within or without me They were, I cannot say.


by William Allingham | |

Wayside Flowers

 Pluck not the wayside flower, 
It is the traveller's dower; 
A thousand passers-by 
Its beauties may espy, 
May win a touch of blessing 
From Nature's mild caressing.
The sad of heart perceives A violet under leaves Like sonic fresh-budding hope; The primrose on the slope A spot of sunshine dwells, And cheerful message tells Of kind renewing power; The nodding bluebell's dye Is drawn from happy sky.
Then spare the wayside flower! It is the traveller's dower.


by William Allingham | |

Writing

 A man who keeps a diary, pays 
Due toll to many tedious days; 
But life becomes eventful--then 
His busy hand forgets the pen.
Most books, indeed, are records less Of fulness than of emptiness.


by William Allingham | |

Half-waking

 I thought it was the little bed 
I slept in long ago; 
A straight white curtain at the head, 
And two smooth knobs below.
I thought I saw the nursery fire, And in a chair well-known My mother sat, and did not tire With reading all alone.
If I should make the slightest sound To show that I'm awake, She'd rise, and lap the blankets round, My pillow softly shake; Kiss me, and turn my face to see The shadows on the wall, And then sing Rousseau's Dream to me, Till fast asleep I fall.
But this is not my little bed; That time is far away; With strangers now I live instead, From dreary day to day.


by William Allingham | |

In a Spring Grove

 Here the white-ray'd anemone is born, 
Wood-sorrel, and the varnish'd buttercup; 
And primrose in its purfled green swathed up, 
Pallid and sweet round every budding thorn, 
Gray ash, and beech with rusty leaves outworn.
Here, too the darting linnet hath her nest In the blue-lustred holly, never shorn, Whose partner cheers her little brooding breast, Piping from some near bough.
O simple song! O cistern deep of that harmonious rillet, And these fair juicy stems that climb and throng The vernal world, and unexhausted seas Of flowing life, and soul that asks to fill it, Each and all of these,--and more, and more than these!


by William Allingham | |

In Snow

 O English mother, in the ruddy glow 
Hugging your baby closer when outside 
You see the silent, soft, and cruel snow 
Falling again, and think what ills betide 
Unshelter'd creatures,--your sad thoughts may go 
Where War and Winter now, two spectre-wolves, 
Hunt in the freezing vapour that involves 
Those Asian peaks of ice and gulfs below.
Does this young Soldier heed the snow that fills His mouth and open eyes? or mind, in truth, To-night, his mother's parting syllables? Ha! is't a red coat?--Merely blood.
Keep ruth For others; this is but an Afghan youth Shot by the stranger on his native hills.


by William Allingham | |

A Gravestone

 Far from the churchyard dig his grave, 
On some green mound beside the wave; 
To westward, sea and sky alone, 
And sunsets.
Put a mossy stone, With mortal name and date, a harp And bunch of wild flowers, carven sharp; Then leave it free to winds that blow, And patient mosses creeping; slow, And wandering wings, and footsteps rare Of human creature pausing there.


by William Allingham | |

A Memory

 Four ducks on a pond,
A grass-bank beyond, 
A blue sky of spring, 
White clouds on the wing; 
What a little thing 
To remember for years- 
To remember with tears!


by William Allingham | |

Aeolian Harp

 O pale green sea, 
With long, pale, purple clouds above - 
What lies in me like weight of love ? 
What dies in me 
With utter grief, because there comes no sign 
Through the sun-raying West, or the dim sea-line ? 

O salted air, 
Blown round the rocky headland still, 
What calls me there from cove and hill? 
What calls me fair 
From thee, the first-born of the youthful night, 
Or in the waves is coming through the dusk twilight ? 

O yellow Star, 
Quivering upon the rippling tide - 
Sendest so far to one that sigh'd? 
Bendest thou, Star, 
Above, where the shadows of the dead have rest 
And constant silence, with a message from the blest?


by William Allingham | |

After Sunset

 The vast and solemn company of clouds 
Around the Sun's death, lit, incarnadined, 
Cool into ashy wan; as Night enshrouds 
The level pasture, creeping up behind 
Through voiceless vales, o'er lawn and purpled hill 
And hazéd mead, her mystery to fulfil.
Cows low from far-off farms; the loitering wind Sighs in the hedge, you hear it if you will,-- Tho' all the wood, alive atop with wings Lifting and sinking through the leafy nooks, Seethes with the clamour of a thousand rooks.
Now every sound at length is hush'd away.
These few are sacred moments.
One more Day Drops in the shadowy gulf of bygone things.


by William Allingham | |

Amy Margarets Five Year Old

 Amy Margaret's five years old, 
Amy Margaret's hair is gold, 
Dearer twenty-thousand-fold 
Than gold, is Amy Margaret.
"Amy" is friend, is "Margaret" The pearl for crown or carkanet? Or peeping daisy, summer's pet? Which are you, Amy Margaret? A friend, a daisy, and a pearl, A kindly, simple, precious girl, -- Such, howsoe'er the world may twirl, Be ever, -- Amy Margaret!


by William Allingham | |

Late Autumn

 October - and the skies are cool and gray 
O'er stubbles emptied of their latest sheaf,
Bare meadow, and the slowly falling leaf.
The dignity of woods in rich decay Accords full well with this majestic grief That clothes our solemn purple hills to-day, Whose afternoon is hush'd, and wintry brief Only a robin sings from any spray.
And night sends up her pale cold moon, and spills White mist around the hollows of the hills, Phantoms of firth or lake; the peasant sees His cot and stockyard, with the homestead trees, Islanded; but no foolish terror thrills His perfect harvesting; he sleeps at ease.


by William Allingham | |

Places and Men

 In Sussex here, by shingle and by sand, 
Flat fields and farmsteads in their wind-blown trees, 
The shallow tide-wave courses to the land, 
And all along the down a fringe one sees 
Of ducal woods.
That 'dim discovered spire' Is Chichester, where Collins felt a fire Touch his sad lips; thatched Felpham roofs are these, Where happy Blake found heaven more close at hand.
Goodwood and Arundel possess their lords, Successive in the towers and groves, which stay; These two poor men, by some right of their own, Possessed the earth and sea, the sun and moon, The inner sweet of life; and put in words A personal force that doth not pass away.


by William Allingham | |

These Little Songs

 These little Songs,
Found here and there, 
Floating in air 
By forest and lea, 
Or hill-side heather, 
In houses and throngs, 
Or down by the sea - 
Have come together, 
How, I can't tell: 
But I know full well 
No witty goose-wing 
On an inkstand begot 'em; 
Remember each place 
And moment of grace, 
In summer or spring, 
Winter or autumn 
By sun, moon, stars, 
Or a coal in the bars, 
In market or church, 
Graveyard or dance, 
When they came without search, 
Were found as by chance.
A word, a line, You may say are mine; But the best in the songs, Whatever it be, To you, and to me, And to no one belongs.