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The Western Towers
Blackbird
Gone to Earth
The Roman Well
At Ravenscar
After Sunset
An Altar at Cilurnum
Bewcastle
Blossom
A Chorister
Frontier
The Great East Window
The Hunters of Banna
Kawabis
The Legion goes North
Lines in October
The Maiden Way
Pantheist
Pre-Existence
A Song of Forgetting
St Cuthbert's Quest
St Cuthbert's Windows
The Ringers
The Snail
The Street
Traveller's Joy
Wind at Night

 

 

 

   

 

TRAVELLERíS JOY

 

 

They say menís minds when they are old

Do lose the bright and delicate wing;

Do fail of the imagining

That turns their iron into gold.

That lovely things they saved to keep

Sink in Timeís waters overdeep.

 

Should this be so then I will write

For mine own eyes when old they grow

One lovely thing I came to know

Too meaningful to perish quite,

Whose beauty when I saw it flower,

Made all the summer in an hour,

 

By tomb and pyramid many days

I thirsted in a thirsty land;

Morning to night the brazen sand

Bewildered with inhuman blaze

Eyesight and thought. Dark Arabs came

And went unfriendly through the flame.

 

Till, home ahungered, I went forth

Glad of the sea across a sea

That ruinous was utterly

With long wind and the windís wrath.

I thought no mind of God indwelled

A world so thrall to ruin held.

 

All deserts somewhere make amends.

There is no sea without a star.

The wildest days that daunt us are

Transmuted at their golden ends.

And my redemption was to stand

Straight in the spring-green Sussex land.

 

Priests who for joy their vestments wore

Lilac and hawthorn shook for miles

Their delicate censers through green aisle~

Of lime and elm and sycamore.

Green twilight at great beanty whist

Loth was to leave that eucharist.

 

This were great miracle ot peace

After the dead land and drear sea.

But, lo, there was a thing to be

Morc beautiful by far than these;

All home-love, hope, and longing blent

With thanksgiving in sacrament.

 

The moon with very gentle light

Candled the vigil of the world

Waiting with awe to see unfurled

The starry chasuble of night.

When, all at once, a nightingale

Sang Jubilate and All Hail.

 

If moonlit running water were

To music set with master skill;

Or winter stars on the high hill

Had each his boyish chorister,

Their choral loveliness would wrong

That perfect purity of song.

 

A little praise, so little praise,

And then the silver downs were still.

But I had had my eager will

And the end of all unsinging days,.

Had found my travellerís joy to share

Green England with young summer there.

 

 
 
   

Copyright © 2008 [Fen Tyler]