Friday, November 13, 2009

A Treasury for Your Past

Poetry by Alice Meynell, 1847-1922.

The Rainy Summer
by Alice Meynell

There’s much afoot in heaven and earth this year;
  The winds hunt up the sun, hunt up the moon,
Trouble the dubious dawn, hasten the drear
  Height of a threatening noon.

No breath of boughs, no breath of leaves, of fronds,
  May linger or grow warm; the trees are loud;
The forest, rooted, tosses in her bonds,
  And strains against the cloud.

No scents may pause within the garden-fold;
  The rifled flowers are cold as ocean-shells;

Bees, humming in the storm, carry their cold
  Wild honey to cold cells.

Drawing of Alice Meynell by John Singer Sargent


from Singers to Come
by Alice Meynell

Singers to come, what thoughts will start
  To song? What words of yours be sent
  Through man’s soul, and with earth be blent?
These worlds of nature and the heart
  Await you like an instrument.

Who knows what musical flocks of words
  Upon these pine-tree tops will light,
  And crown these towers in circling flight,
And cross these seas like summer birds,
  And give a voice to the day and night?

Something of you already is ours;
  Some mystic part of you belongs
  To us whose dreams your future throngs,
Who look on hills, and trees, and flowers,
  Which will mean so much in your songs.


Your Own Fair Youth
by Alice Meynell

Your own fair youth, you care so little for it—
  Smiling towards Heaven, you would not stay the advances
  Of time and change upon your happiest fancies.
I keep your golden hour, and will restore it.

If ever, in time to come, you would explore it—
  Your old self, whose thoughts went like last year’s pansies,
  Look unto me; no mirror keeps its glances;
In my unfailing praises now I store it.

To guard all joys of yours from Time’s estranging,
  I shall be then a treasury where your gay,
    Happy, and pensive past unaltered is.

I shall be then a garden charmed from changing,
  In which your June has never passed away.
    Walk there awhile among my memories.


The Essays of Alice Meynell

More info about Ms. Meynell, including her poems, essays, and biography

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