Whilst full my river flows down to the sea,
Gilded with flashing boats
That bring no friend to me:
Love-songs, gurgling from a hundred throats,
O love-pangs, let me be.
Fair fall the freighted boats which gold and stone
And spices bear to sea:
Slim, gleaming maidens swell their mellow notes,
Love-promising, entreating -
Ah! sweet, but fleeting -
Beneath the shivering, snow-white sails.
Hush! the wind flags and fails -
Hush! they will lie becalmed in sight of strand -
Sight of my strand, where I do dwell alone;
Their songs wake singing echoes in my land -
They cannot hear me moan.
Clownlike, happiest on your hands,
Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled,
Gilled like a fish. A common-sense
Thumbs-down on the dodo's mode.
Wrapped up in yourself like a spool,
Trawling your dark, as owls do.
Mute as a turnip from the Fourth
Of July to All Fools' Day,
O high-riser, my little loaf.
Vague as fog and looked for like mail.
Farther off than Australia.
Bent-backed Atlas, our traveled prawn.
Snug as a bud and at home
Like a sprat in a pickle jug.
A creel of eels, all ripples.
Jumpy as a Mexican bean.
Right, like a well-done sum.
A clean slate, with your own face on.
Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing.
I want to fill it with color and ducks,
The zoo of the new
Whose name you meditate--
April snowdrop, Indian pipe,
Stalk without wrinkle,
Pool in which images
Should be grand and classical
Not this troublous
Wringing of hands, this dark
Ceiling without a star.
On a lighter note, these poems could be compared to Helen Dunmore's All The Things You Are Not Yet. (see below)