Posts tagged ‘1930’

Monday, 12 November 2018

The Silence by Arthur St John Adcock

In the bleak twilight, when the roads are hoar
And mists of early morning haunt the down,
His Mother shuts her empty cottage door
Behind her, in the lane beyond the town:
Her slow steps on the highway frosty white
Ring clear across the moor, and echo through
The drowsy town, to where the station’s light
Signals the 7.10 to Waterloo.

Some wintry flowers in her garden grown,
And some frail dreams, she bears with her to-day –
Dreams of the lad who once had been her own,
For whose dear sake she goes a weary way
To find in London, after journeying long,
The Altar of Remembrance, set apart
For such as she, and join the pilgrim throng
There, at that Mecca of the Broken Heart.

Princes and Lords in grave procession come
With wondrous wreaths of glory for the dead;
Then the two minutes smite the City dumb,
And memory dims her eyes with tears unshed;
The silence breaks, and music strange and sad
Wails, while the Great Ones bow in homage low;
And still she knows her little homely lad
Troubles no heart but hers in all the Show.

And when beside the blind stone’s crowded base,
’Mid the rich wreaths, she lays her wintry flowers,
She feels that, sleeping in some far-off place
Indifferent to these interludes of ours,
No solace from this marshalled woe he drains,
And that the stark Shrine stands more empty here
Than her own cottage, where the silence reigns,
Not for brief minutes, but through all the year.


Date: 1930

By: Arthur St John Adcock (1864-1930)

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Pagan Year by Aldous Leonard Huxley

December’s eyes are shut, but cannot kill
The colors out of the world. They live, suppressed
Yet strong, shining in secret, live and still
With brooding sables, with cinder and plum attest
The absent light, who with his longed re-birth
Unclots the world to an airy dream of leaves,
That June once more must curdle into earth,
Till the huge elms hang dark above the sheaves.

Magical autumn! all the woods are foxes,
Dozing outstretched in the almost silvery sun.
Oh, bright sad woods and melancholy sky,
Is there no cure for Beauty but to run
Yet faster as faster flee hours, flowers and doxies
And dying music, till we also die?


Date: 1930

By: Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894-1963)

Friday, 29 June 2012

Coverings by Stella Gibbons

The snake had shed his brindled skin
To meet the marching feet of spring;
With bar, curve, loop and whirling ring
The patterned swathes, papyrus-thin,
Lay on the cage’s sanded floor
Marked with dragging python-spoor.

Flick-flack! Like ash on vulcanite
His eyes and lids in the spatulate
Head were alive with watchful hate,
Daring the sounds and the raw spring light.
He shone like watered silk from his tongue
To his tapering tail where the skin-shreds hung.

The cloudy yellow of mustard flowers
Was barred on his skin with jetty flares
And the five-patched circle the leopard wears:
The sea-shell’s convolute green towers
Were called to mind by his belly’s hue
That faded to pallid egg-shell blue.

He was covered so to face the sun;
That shadows of leaves might match his skin;
That, where the lily roots begin,
You might not see where the snake begun;
That Man might see, when Snake was dressed,
God in snake made manifest.

Mrs Fand wore a fox round her wrinkled throat;
He was killed at dawn as he snarled his threat
In a bracken-brake where the mist lay wet.
Two men were drowned in a shattered boat
Hunting the whale for the silk-bound shred
That balanced her bust with her henna’d head.

An osprey’s plume brushed her fallen chin,
And a lorgnette swung on a platinum chain
To deputise for her sightless brain.
Her high-heeled shoes were of python skin,
Her gloves of the gentle reindeer’s hide,
And to make her card-case a lizard died.

She watched the flickering counter-play
As the snake reared up with tongue and eye
Licking the air for newt and fly;
And shook herself as she turned away
With a tolerant movement of her head:
“The nasty, horrid thing!” she said.


Date: 1930

By: Stella Gibbons (1902-1989)