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Bay A Book of Poems

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A Review in Hyde Park 1913.The Crowd Watches.

WHERE the trees rise like cliffs, proud and  blue-tinted in the distance,Between the cliffs of the trees, on the grey-  green parkRests a still line of soldiers, red motionless range of  guardsSmouldering with darkened busbies beneath the bay-  onets' slant rain.

Colossal in nearness a blue police sits still on his horseGuarding the path; his hand relaxed at his thigh,And skyward his face is immobile, eyelids aslantIn tedium, and mouth relaxed as if smiling—ineffabletedium!

So! So! Gaily a general canters across the space,With white plumes blinking under the evening grey  sky.And suddenly, as if the ground movedThe red range heaves in slow, magnetic reply.


The red range heaves and compulsory sways, ah see!  in the flush of a marchSoftly-impulsive advancing as water towards a weir  from the archOf shadow emerging as blood emerges from inward  shades of our nightEncroaching towards a crisis, a meeting, a spasm and  throb of delight.

The wave of soldiers, the coming wave, the throbbing  red breast of approachUpon us; dark eyes as here beneath the busbies glit-  tering, dark threats that broachOur beached vessel; darkened rencontre inhuman, and  closed warm lips, and darkMouth-hair of soldiers passing above us, over the wreck  of our bark.

And so, it is ebb-time, they turn, the eyes beneath the  busbies are gone.But the blood has suspended its timbre, the heart from  out of oblivionKnows but the retreat of the burning shoulders, the  red-swift waves of the sweetFire horizontal declining and ebbing, the twilit ebb of  retreat.


THE chime of the bells, and the church clock  striking eightSolemnly and distinctly cries down the babel  of children still playing in the hay.The church draws nearer upon us, gentle and greatIn shadow, covering us up with her grey.

Like drowsy children the houses fall asleepUnder the fleece of shadow, as in betweenTall and dark the church moves, anxious to keepTheir sleeping, cover them soft unseen.

Hardly a murmur comes from the sleeping brood,I wish the church had covered me up with the restIn the home-place. Why is it she should excludeMe so distinctly from sleeping with those I love best?


THE cool of an oak's unchequered shadeFalls on me as I lie in deep grassWhich rushes upward, blade beyond blade,While higher the darting grass-flowers passPiercing the blue with their crocketed spiresAnd waving flags, and the ragged firesOf the sorrel's cresset—a green, brave townVegetable, new in renown.

Over the tree's edge, as over a mountainSurges the white of the moon,A cloud comes up like the surge of a fountain,Pressing round and low at first, but soonHeaving and piling a round white dome.How lovely it is to be at homeLike an insect in the grassLetting life pass.

There's a scent of clover crept through my hairFrom the full resource of some purple domeWhere that lumbering bee, who can hardly bearHis burden above me, never has clomb....