IGCSE Songs of Ourselves
Poetry anthology 2009-2011
The Grange School English Department
Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me,
Saying that now you are not as you were
When you had changed from the one who was all to me,
But as at first, when our day was fair.
Can it be you that I hear? Let me view you, then,
Standing as when I drew near to the town
Where you would wait for me: yes, as I knew you then,
Even to the original air-blue gown!
Or is it only the breeze in its listlessness
Travelling across the wet mead to me here,
You being ever dissolved to wan wistlessness,
Heard no more again far or near?
Thus I; faltering forward,
Leaves around me falling,
Wind oozing thin through the thorn from norward, And the woman calling.
Mead: field: meadow
Norward: northern parts
I am the nor'west air nosing among the pines
I am the water-race and the rust on the railway lines
I am the mileage recorder on the yellow signs.
I am dust, I am distance, I am lupins back of the beach
I am the sums the sole-charge teachers teach
I am cows called to milking and the magpie's screech
I am nine o'clock in the morning when the office is clean
I am the slap of the belting and the smell of the machine
I am the place in the park where the lovers were seen.
I am recurrent music the children hear
I am level noises in the remembering ear
I am the sawmill and the passionate second gear.
I, Time, am all these, yet these exist
Among my mountainous fabrics like a mist,
So do they the measurable world resist.
I, Time, call down, condense, confer
On willing memory the shapes these were
I, more than your conscious carrier,
Am island, am sea, am father, farm and friend,
Though I am here, all things my coming attend;
I am, you have heard it, the Beginning and the End.
Lupins: Type of flower
The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; - on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea....
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