Its mixture of delight in spring and reflectiveness has charmed generations of readers, young and old.
I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUD
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
Here are some random thoughts on the matter (mater?), penned a few years ago, but I hope still valid.
MUM'S THE WORD
It can't be bad, just once a year,
To spoil and treat your mother dear
With tea in bed or floral posy
And make her day completely rosy.
You take for granted all her fussing,
Extended freely, without cussing
The endless laundry and the noise
Of diabolic war-game toys,
The lines comes from Island, his Collected Poems (Saint Andrew Press, 2009).
All down the coast
The air was full of fish and sunset.
By nine, the lemon-coloured cottages
Were warm windows glowing over the bays.
Far west the light a rim of blue and white,
Jura and Mull and Scarba all carved from shining.
On the way home we stopped to listen to the dark,
The moral may be the futility of trying to hoard and hold onto the past.
DECLINE AND FALL
In Easter Road, the family house
drowsed through the summers of a century.
Paint blistered and burst
through long, somnolent afternoons.
Grasses waved in the garden.
Trains came and went.
The drawers of the mahogany tallboy
were crammed with documents,
photographs and letters bound with tape:
Andrew Young brings classical allusions to bear in his almost mystic response to them. The lines come from his Selected Poems (Carcanet, 1998).
Although men may dig up
A broken Bacchus with a vine-wreathed cup
Or helmeted chryselephantine goddess;
Though Aphrodite divine and godless,
Helped by a rope, rise from the sea,
None is immortal but Persephone.
See, by an English lane
Cold Hades lets her rise again.