Poem: Old Poets by E. D. (Edward Dyson)

Where are the pleasing bards I knew,
   Whose songs so glorified my youth,
And rippled all keen day through
   With warp of beauty and of truth?
They wear no robes of purple sheen
   Nor wreaths (unless they be of rue),
But honest was their work, I ween,
   Where are the singing men I knew?

Where do my early poets bide?
   I hear at times a far-off strain,
But in no chariot do they ride,
   Their homes glow never on the plain.
I see them not in gardens fair
   Where good old men sit side by side,
Cut off from need, absolved of care.
   Where do my early poets bide?

Where rest the poets in their age,
   Whose melody was part of life,
Whose splendid violence did wage
   With liars all inspiring strife?
I see the faded doctor there,
   Bent low, and picking at the page;
His greying life no troubles wear.
   Where rest the poets in their age?

To what kind haven have they gone
   Now fire sparkles in the ash?
The lawyer sits his life to con
   In soft contentment when the clash
Of argument is done, and he
   Steps down to let the world go on.
Where are the bards once dear to me;
   To what kind haven have they gone?

Where are the poets once I knew?
   The tradesmen crowned with snow hath ease,
The broker drives the city through,
   His age hath everything to please.
All other men have gentle end
   To mark new life with placid view,
In pillowed peace their souls to mend --
   Where are the poets once I knew?

First published in The Bulletin, 16 May 1918

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 14, 2006 8:34 AM.

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