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Monday, January 08, 2007

Wood Song (Eugene Lee-Hamilton)

I never heard of Eugene Lee-Hamilton before today, the poem below (found at the preceding link) made me like him immediately. It reads, to me, somewhat like You Are My Sunshine (a very, very sad song). I also hear it being sung (in my head) by an alto, or a high tenor.

Wood Song
When we are gone, love,
Gone as the breeze,
Woods will be sweet, love,
Even as these.


Sunflecks will dance, love,
Even as now,
Here on the moss, love,
Under the bough.


Others unborn, love,
Maybe will sit
Here in the wood, love,
Leafily lit;


Hearking as now, love,
Treble of birds;
Breathing as we, love,
Wondering words.

Others will sigh, love,
Even as we:
'Only a day, love,'
Murmurs the bee.

Is it just me, or do the simplicity and the sentiment combine in a poignant and clarified beauty?

Speaking of clarified, I discovered the poem while looking for John Clare's The Shephard's Calendar, which is available month by month on in the sidebar on the right of the linked page.

Oh, and here's a John Clare poem:

BALLAD.

A WEEDLING wild, on lonely lea,
My evening rambles chanc'd to see;
And much the weedling tempted me
To crop its tender flower:
Expos'd to wind and heavy rain,
Its head bow'd lowly on the plain;
And silently it seem'd in pain
Of life's endanger'd hour.

"And wilt thou bid my bloom decay,
And crop my flower, and me betray ?
And cast my injur'd sweets away," -
Its silence seemly sigh'd -
"A moment's idol of thy mind?
And is a stranger so unkind,
To leave a shameful root behind,
Bereft of all its pride?"

And so it seemly did complain;
And beating fell the heavy rain;
And low it droop'd upon the plain,
To fate resign'd to fall:
My heart did melt at its decline,
And "Come," said I, "thou gem divine,
My fate shall stand the storm with thine;"
So took the root and all.

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