Poems 23

                              Lines under Duress       On a broiling Day


When from a week of heated strife –

The desperate round of daily life

We turn to seek relief and ease

Where sights and scents of Nature please

Brief hours of rest and peace to feel –

The balm industry’s scars to heal

We greet the waking summer sun

And stir, lest precious minutes run.


But the joys of the sun are haply these:-

The midges nip on tender knees;

Vagrant wasps on the wandering wing

In search of unclothed arms to sting;

The bee in quest of honey sweet

Just flecks the neck with puncture neat

The tiny things that crawl and creep

On human skin make lighter leap:

And myriad life in earth and air

Make summer more than one can bear.


The lightsome play of solar rays

On skin yet white from sunless days

May from refreshing caress turn

Into a fire of torturing burn

The winding lane one follows far

Are steeped in dust by every car.

Illusion is a mental sense

Banished by experience;

And summer joys seen from afar

Are thus seen where they cannot mar

‘Tis good to dream of ‘Flaming June’

And hold the dream at Winter’s noon

E’en while I sit to make my song

I fear I dare not sit for long

With mustering force the pesterous clan

Precipitate the Flight of Man.                  Hoghton Bottoms, June 1934





When Easter comes the highway hums

(Like it always hums when Easter comes)

The whole long day with a rare array

Of miscellaneous roadsters gay

          All of them off on holiday!


Brief liberty – a world set free –

A moving scene of pageantry

The land is gay in spring array

From town and city, bent on play

          The world is making holiday!


There’s a tandem old with its riders bold

(What tales that tandem could unfold)

And the riders gray, whose youthful day

Is like their tandem’s, year’s away,

          Both of them off on a holiday!


And the youngster green – perhaps over keen

Each of them perched on an aged machine

As forth they sway in a wayward way

From peep o’dawn till the end of day

          All of them off on a holiday!


Oh, what delight from morn till night

Be Easter dull or be it bright

And what care they for another day –

Today will soon be yesterday –

          Today they are all on holiday!                  Easter 1934



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