Elizabeth Barrett Browning | |
The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!
Wang Wei | |
In the slant of the sun on the country-side,
Cattle and sheep trail home along the lane;
And a rugged old man in a thatch door
Leans on a staff and thinks of his son, the herdboy.
There are whirring pheasants? full wheat-ears,
Silk-worms asleep, pared mulberry-leaves.
And the farmers, returning with hoes on their shoulders,
Hail one another familiarly.
No wonder I long for the simple life
And am sighing the old song, Oh, to go Back Again!
Siegfried Sassoon | |
IN gold and grey with fleering looks of sin
I watch them come; by two by three by four
Advancing slow with loutings they begin
Their woven measure widening from the door;
While music-men behind are straddling in 5
With flutes to brisk their feet across the floor ¡ª
And jangled dulcimers and fiddles thin
That taunt the twirling antic through once more.
They pause and hushed to whispers steal away.
With cunning glances; silent go their shoon 10
On creakless stairs; but far away the dogs
Bark at some lonely farm: and haply they
Have clambered back into the dusky moon
That sinks beyond the marshes loud with frogs.
A E Housman | |
The Sun at noon to higher air,
Unharnessing the silver Pair
That late before his chariot swam,
Rides on the gold wool of the Ram.
So braver notes the storm-cock sings
To start the rusted wheel of things,
And brutes in field and brutes in pen
Leap that the world goes round again.
The boys are up the woods with day
To fetch the daffodils away,
And home at noonday from the hills
They bring no dearth of daffodils.
Afield for palms the girls repair,
And sure enough the palms are there,
And each will find by hedge or pond
Her waving silver-tufted wand.
In farm and field through all the shire
The eye beholds the heart's desire;
Ah, let not only mine be vain,
For lovers should be loved again.
A E Housman | |
Leave your home behind, lad,
And reach your friends your hand,
And go, and luck go with you
While Ludlow tower shall stand.
Oh, come you home of Sunday
When Ludlow streets are still
And Ludlow bells are calling
To farm and lane and mill,
Or come you home of Monday
When Ludlow market hums
And Ludlow chimes are playing
"The conquering hero comes,"
Come you home a hero,
Or come not home at all,
The lads you leave will mind you
Till Ludlow tower shall fall.
And you will list the bugle
That blows in lands of morn,
And make the foes of England
Be sorry you were born.
And you till trump of doomsday
On lands of morn may lie,
And make the hearts of comrades
Be heavy where you die.
Leave your home behind you,
Your friends by field and town:
Oh, town and field will mind you
Till Ludlow tower is down.
R S Thomas | |
You go up the long track
That will take a car, but is best walked
On slow foot, noting the lichen
That writes history on the page
Of the grey rock.
Trees are about you
At first, but yield to the green bracken,
The nightjars house: you can hear it spin
On warm evenings; it is still now
In the noonday heat, only the lesser
Voices sound, blue-fly and gnat
And the stream's whisper.
As the road climbs,
You will pause for breath and the far sea's
Signal will flash, till you turn again
To the steep track, buttressed with cloud.
And there at the top that old woman,
Born almost a century back
In that stone farm, awaits your coming;
Waits for the news of the lost village
She thinks she knows, a place that exists
In her memory only.
You bring her greeting
And praise for having lasted so long
With time's knife shaving the bone.
Yet no bridge joins her own
World with yours, all you can do
Is lean kindly across the abyss
To hear words that were once wise.
Robert Seymour Bridges | |
The day begins to droop,--
Its course is done:
But nothing tells the place
Of the setting sun.
The hazy darkness deepens,
And up the lane
You may hear, but cannot see,
The homing wain.
An engine pants and hums
In the farm hard by:
Its lowering smoke is lost
In the lowering sky.
The soaking branches drip,
And all night through
The dropping will not cease
In the avenue.
A tall man there in the house
Must keep his chair:
He knows he will never again
Breathe the spring air:
His heart is worn with work;
He is giddy and sick
If he rise to go as far
As the nearest rick:
He thinks of his morn of life,
His hale, strong years;
And braves as he may the night
Of darkness and tears.
Erin Belieu | |
Omaha, Nebraska They do not sleep nights
but stand between
rows of glowing corn and
cabbages grown on acres past
the edge of the city.
their nightgowns furl and
unfurl around their legs.
Only women could be this
they are sterile
and it appears that
their mouths are always
Because they are thin
as weeds, the albinos
If you drive out
to the farm, tree branches will
point the way.
No map will show
where, no phone is listed.
It will seem that the moon, plump
above their shoulders, is constant,
orange as harvest all year
We say, when a mother
gives birth to an albino girl,
she feigns sleep after
labor while an Asian
man steals in, spirits
the pale baby away.
Joyce Kilmer | |
(For Sara Teasdale)
The lonely farm, the crowded street,
The palace and the slum,
Give welcome to my silent feet
As, bearing gifts, I come.
Last night a beggar crouched alone,
A ragged helpless thing;
I set him on a moonbeam throne --
Today he is a king.
Last night a king in orb and crown
Held court with splendid cheer;
Today he tears his purple gown
And moans and shrieks in fear.
Not iron bars, nor flashing spears,
Not land, nor sky, nor sea,
Nor love's artillery of tears
Can keep mine own from me.
Serene, unchanging, ever fair,
I smile with secret mirth
And in a net of mine own hair
I swing the captive earth.
Joyce Kilmer | |
When Dawn strides out to wake a dewy farm
Across green fields and yellow hills of hay
The little twittering birds laugh in his way
And poise triumphant on his shining arm.
He bears a sword of flame but not to harm
The wakened life that feels his quickening sway
And barnyard voices shrilling "It is day!"
Take by his grace a new and alien charm.
But in the city, like a wounded thing
That limps to cover from the angry chase,
He steals down streets where sickly arc-lights sing,
And wanly mock his young and shameful face;
And tiny gongs with cruel fervor ring
In many a high and dreary sleeping place.
William Carlos (WCW) Williams | |
Oh, black Persian cat!
Was not your life
already cursed with offspring?
We took you for rest to that old
Yankee farm,—so lonely
and with so many field mice
in the long grass—
and you return to us
in this condition—!
Oh, black Persian cat.
Walt Whitman | |
THROUGH the ample open door of the peaceful country barn,
A sun-lit pasture field, with cattle and horses feeding;
And haze, and vista, and the far horizon, fading away.
Walt Whitman | |
ME imperturbe, standing at ease in Nature,
Master of all, or mistress of all—aplomb in the midst of irrational things,
Imbued as they—passive, receptive, silent as they,
Finding my occupation, poverty, notoriety, foibles, crimes, less important than I thought;
Me private, or public, or menial, or solitary—all these subordinate, (I am eternally
the best—I am not subordinate;)
Me toward the Mexican Sea, or in the Mannahatta, or the Tennessee, or far north, or
A river man, or a man of the woods, or of any farm-life in These States, or of the coast,
lakes, or Kanada,
Me, wherever my life is lived, O to be self-balanced for contingencies!
O to confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as the trees and
Louise Gluck | |
Requiring something lovely on his arm
Took me to Stamford, Connecticut, a quasi-farm,
His family's; later picking up the mammoth
Girlfriend of Charlie, meanwhile trying to pawn me off
On some third guy also up for the weekend.
But Saturday we still were paired; spent
It sprawled across that sprawling acreage
Until the grass grew limp
Johnston-baby, I can still see
The pelted clover, burrs' prickle fur and gorged
Pastures spewing infinite tiny bells.
Seamus Heaney | |
My father worked with a horse-plough,
His shoulders globed like a full sail strung
Between the shafts and the furrow.
The horse strained at his clicking tongue.
He would set the wing
And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.
The sod rolled over without breaking.
At the headrig, with a single pluck
Of reins, the sweating team turned round
And back into the land.
Narrowed and angled at the ground,
Mapping the furrow exactly.
I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake,
Fell sometimes on the polished sod;
Sometimes he rode me on his back
Dipping and rising to his plod.
I wanted to grow up and plough,
To close one eye, stiffen my arm.
All I ever did was follow
In his broad shadow round the farm.
I was a nuisance, tripping, falling,
It is my father who keeps stumbling
Behind me, and will not go away.
Peter Huchel | |
Between two nights
the brief day.
The farm is there.
And in the thicket, a snare
the hunter set for us.
It still warms the stone.
Chirping in the wind,
buzz of a guitar
down the hillside.
The slow match
of withered foliage
glows against the wall.
the crane’s migration.
In bright tree limbs
the tolling hour has faded.
Upon their clockwork
the veils of dead brides.
Randall Jarrell | |
The moon rises.
The red cubs rolling
In the ferns by the rotten oak
Stare over a marsh and a meadow
To the farm's white wisp of smoke.
A spark burns, high in heaven.
Deer thread the blossoming rows
Of the old orchard, rabbits
Hop by the well-curb.
The cock crows
From the tree by the widow's walk;
Two stars in the trees to the west,
Are snared, and an owl's soft cry
Runs like a breath through the forest.
Here too, though death is hushed, though joy
Obscures, like night, their wars,
The beings of this world are swept
By the Strife that moves the stars.
Denise Levertov | |
Bricks of the wall,
so much older than the house -
taken I think from a farm pulled down
when the street was built -
narrow bricks of another century.
Modestly, though laid with panels and parapets,
a wall behind the flowers -
roses and hollyhocks, the silver
pods of lupine, sweet-tasting
but I discovered
the colors in the wall that woke
when spray from the hose
played on its pocks and warts -
a hazy red, a
grain gold, a mauve
of small shadows, sprung
from the quiet dry brown -
of the world always a step
beyond the world, that can't
be looked for, only
as the eye wanders,
Paul Muldoon | |
I, too, have trailed my father's spirit
From the mud-walled cabin behind the mountain
Where he was born and bred,
TB and scarletina,
The farm where he was first hired out,
To Wigan, to Crewe junction,
A building-site from which he disappeared
And took passage, almost, for Argentina.
The mountain is coming down with hazel,
The building-site a slum,
While he has gone no further than Brazil.
That's him on the verandah, drinking rum
With a man who might be a Nazi,
His children asleep under their mosquito-nets.
Edgar Lee Masters | |
The very fall my sister Nancy Knapp
Set fire to the house
They were trying Dr.
For the murder of Zora Clemens,
And I sat in the court two weeks
Listening to every witness.
It was clear he had got her in a family way;
And to let the child be born
Would not do.
Well, how about me with eight children,
And one coming, and the farm
Mortgaged to Thomas Rhodes?
And when I got home that night,
(After listening to the story of the buggy ride,
And the finding of Zora in the ditch,)
The first thing I saw, right there by the steps,
Where the boys had hacked for angle worms,
Was the hatchet!
And just as I entered there was my wife,
Standing before me, big with child.
She started the talk of the mortgaged farm,
And I killed her.