As Lit Land Poems Anthology

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    As the team's head-brass flashed outby Edward Thomas

    1. As the team's head-brass flashed out on the turn2. The lovers disappeared into the wood.3. I sat among the boughs of the fallen elm4. That strewed the angle of the fallow, and5. Watched the plough narrowing a yellow square6. Of charlock. Every time the horses turned7. Instead of treading me down, the ploughman leaned8. Upon the handles to say or ask a word,9. About the weather, next about the war.10.Scraping the share he faced towards the wood,11.And screwed along the furrow till the brass flashed12.

    Once more.

    13.The blizzard felled the elm whose crest14. I sat in, by a woodpecker's round hole,15.The ploughman said. 'When will they take it away?'16. 'When the war's over.' So the talk began17.One minute and an interval of ten,18.A minute more and the same interval.19. 'Have you been out?' 'No.' 'And don't want to, perhaps?'20. 'If I could only come back again, I should.21. I could spare an arm, I shouldn't want to lose22.A leg. If I should lose my head, why, so,

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    23. I should want nothing more...Have many gone24.From here?' 'Yes.' 'Many lost?' 'Yes, a good few.25.Only two teams work on the farm this year.26.One of my mates is dead. The second day27. In France they killed him. It was back in March,28.The very night of the blizzard, too. Now if29.He had stayed here we should have moved the tree.'30. 'And I should not have sat here. Everything31.

    Would have been different. For it would have been

    32.Another world.' 'Ay, and a better, though33. If we could see all all might seem good.' Then34.The lovers came out of the wood again:35.The horses started and for the last time36. I watched the clods crumble and topple over37.After the ploughshare and the stumbling team.

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    Beeny Cliff

    by Thomas Hardy

    I

    1. The opal and the sapphire of that wandering western sea,2. And the woman riding high above with bright hair flapping free-3. The woman whom I loved so, and who loyally loved me.

    I I

    4. The pale mews plained below us, and the waves seemed far away5. In a nether sky, engrossed in saying their ceaseless babbling say,6. As we laughed light-heartedly aloft on that clear-sunned March day.

    III

    7. A little cloud then cloaked us, and there flew an irised rain,8. And the Atlantic dyed its levels with a dull misfeatured stain,9. And then the sun burst out again, and purples prinked the main.

    IV

    10.Still in all its chasmal beauty bulks old Beeny to the sky,11.And shall she and I not go there once again now March is nigh,12.And the sweet things said in that March say anew there by and by?

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    V

    13.What if still in chasmal beauty looms that wild weird western shore,14.The woman now is-elsewhere-whom the ambling pony bore,15.And nor knows nor cares for Beeny, and will laugh there nevermore.

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    BermudasAndrew Marvell

    1. Where the remote Bermudas ride2. In th oceans bosom unespyd,3. From a small boat, that rowdalong,4. The listning winds receivd this song.

    5. What should we do but sing his praise6. That led us through the watry maze7. Unto an isle so long unknown,8. And yet far kinder than our own?9. Where he the huge sea-monsters wracks,10.That lift the deep upon their backs,11.He lands us on a grassy stage,12.Safe from the storms and prelates rage.13.He gave us this eternal spring14.Which here enamels everything,15.And sends the fowls to us in care,16.On daily visits through the air.17.He hangs in shades the orange bright,18.Like golden lamps in a green night;19.And does in the pomegranates close20.Jewels more rich than Ormus shows.21.He makes the figs our mouths to meet22.And throws the melons at our feet,

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    23.But apples plants of such a price,24.No tree could ever bear them twice.25.With cedars, chosen by his hand,26.From Lebanon, he stores the land,27.And makes the hollow seas that roar28.Proclaim the ambergris on shore.29.He cast (of which we rather boast)30.The Gospels pearl upon our coast,31.

    And in these rocks for us did frame

    32.A temple, where to sound his name.33.Oh let our voice his praise exalt,34.Till it arrive at heavens vault;35.Which thence (perhaps) rebounding, may36.Echo beyond the Mexic Bay.

    37.Thus sung they in the English boat38.An holy and a cheerful note,39.And all the way, to guide their chime,40.With falling oars they kept the time.

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    The BightElizabeth Bishop

    1. At low tide like this how sheer the water is.2. White, crumbling ribs of marl protrude and glare3. and the boats are dry, the pilings dry as matches.4. Absorbing, rather than being absorbed,5. the water in the bight doesn't wet anything,6. the color of the gas flame turned as low as possible.7. One can smell it turning to gas; if one were Baudelaire8. one could probably hear it turning to marimba music.9. The little ocher dredge at work off the end of the dock10.already plays the dry perfectly off-beat claves.11.The birds are outsize. Pelicans crash12. into this peculiar gas unnecessarily hard,13. it seems to me, like pickaxes,14.rarely coming up with anything to show for it,15.and going off with humorous elbowings.16.Black-and-white man-of-war birds soar17.on impalpable drafts18.and open their tails like scissors on the curves19.or tense them like wishbones, till they tremble.20.The frowsy sponge boats keep coming in21.with the obliging air of retrievers,22.bristling with jackstraw gaffs and hooks23.and decorated with bobbles of sponges.24.There is a fence of chicken wire along the dock

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    25.where, glinting like little plowshares,26.the blue-gray shark tails are hung up to dry27. for the Chinese-restaurant trade.28.Some of the little white boats are still piled up29.against each other, or lie on their sides, stove in,30.and not yet salvaged, if they ever will be, from the last bad storm,31. like torn-open, unanswered letters.32.The bight is littered with old correspondences.33.

    Click. Click. Goes the dredge,

    34.and brings up a dripping jawful of marl.35.All the untidy activity continues,36.awful but cheerful.

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    Binsey Poplars - Gerard Manley Hopkins

    1. My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled,2. Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun,3. All felled, felled, are all felled;4. Of a fresh and following folded rank5. Not spared, not one6. That swam or sank7.

    On meadow and river and wind-wandering

    8. weed-winding bank.9. O if we but knew what we do10.When we delve or hew-11.Hack and rack the growing green!12.Since country is so tender13.To touch, her being so slender,14.That, like this sleek and seeing ball15.But a prick will made no eye at all,16.Where we, even where we mean17.To mend her we end her,18.When we hew or delve:19.After-comers cannot guess the beauty been.20.Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve21.Strokes of havoc unselve22.The sweet especial scene,23.Rural scene, a rural scene,24.Sweet especial rural scene.

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    BirchesRobert Frost

    1. When I see birches bend to left and right2. Across the lines of straighter darker trees,3. I like to think some boy's been swinging them.4. But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay5. As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them6. Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning7. After a rain. They click upon themselves8. As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored9. As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.10.Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells11.Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust12.

    Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away

    13.You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.14.They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,15.And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed16.So low for long, they never right themselves:17.You may see their trunks arching in the woods18.Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground19.Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair20.Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.21.But I was going to say when Truth broke in22.With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm23. I should prefer to have some boy bend them

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    24.As he went out and in to fetch the cows25.Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,26.Whose only play was what he found himself,27.Summer or winter, and could play alone.28.One by one he subdued his father's trees29.By riding them down over and over again30.Until he took the stiffness out of them,31.And not one but hung limp, not one was left32.

    For him to conquer. He learned all there was

    33.To learn about not launching out too soon34.And so not carrying the tree away35.Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise36.To the top branches, climbing carefully37.With the same pains you use to fill a cup38.Up to the brim, and even above the brim.39.Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,40.Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.41.So was I once myself a swinger of birches.42.And so I dream of going back to be.43. It's when I'm weary of considerations,44.And life is too much like a pathless wood45.Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs46.Broken across it, and one eye is weeping47.From a twig's having lashed across it open.48. I'd like to get away from earth awhile49.And then come back to it and be

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