This Old Bank Of Sand is a weekly poem feed. Add your email address to the Follow by Email link on the right and you will receive one poem a week (usually on Monday morning). If you have suggestions for poems or poets, or any other suggestions, please use the comments facility at the bottom of each poem (public), or email them to (private). To leave a public comment, click on the word comments which you can find just below each poem.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

John Clare - The Fallen Elm - excerpt

John Clare (1793 - 1864) is considered by some to be one of the founding thinkers of the environmental movement. In "The Fallen Elm" he contrasts the freedom of ownership with the freedom of all to enjoy the natural environment, in this case a “music-making elm”.

Lawrence Casserley.

John Clare - The Fallen Elm - excerpt

Old elm that murmured in our chimney top

The sweetest anthem autumn ever made

And into mellow whispering calms would drop

When showers fell on thy many coloured shade

And when dark tempests mimic thunder made -

While darkness came as it would strangle light

With the black tempest of a winter night

That rocked thee like a cradle in thy root -

How did I love to hear the winds upbraid

Thy strength without - while all within was mute.

It seasoned comfort to our hearts' desire,

We felt that kind protection like a friend

And edged our chairs up closer to the fire,

Enjoying comfort that was never penned.

Old favourite tree, thou'st seen time's changes lower,

Though change till now did never injure thee;

For time beheld thee as her sacred dower

And nature claimed thee her domestic tree.

With axe at root he felled thee to the ground

And barked of freedom - O I hate the sound

Time hears its visions speak, - and age sublime

Hath made thee a disciple unto time.

- Such was thy ruin, music-making elm;

The right of freedom was to injure thine:

As thou wert served, so would they overwhelm

In freedom's name the little that is mine.

No comments:

Post a Comment