for Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
(The Coleridge Bulletin No1 (Winter 1992-93), pp 22-23)
All night the white rills sang down the sheer dark silences,
With their rainórapid melodies; but now
The blackbird calls the sun above the seaward hills,
Spring snow of blossom fills
Black chandeliers of cherry: the daffodils
Lean their golden trumpets,
Silently, to morning shadows.
And galaxies of stitchwort blaze
This new new day's star-white along the hedgerow sides;
Seam-white, silk-flare, through all
This nervous gorgeous tapestry of flowers.
Across this morning's sunlit
Sun blades, of scimitar or gentle gold,
Beckon the bright seabirds into the strengthening skies;
In bright compressions of young blue they soar
There green fall of moor to white-farm shores; this morning
The sea rhyming with sun-shadows: milk-break of surf
On rock and sand.
Last night, I slept within the primrose field;
A soft breeze soothed the jagged timbers of my hut:
Dark holly was my guard, the thorn my friend, the tender ivy
Tangled softly at my door: the west winds lulled
Beyond the shield of western moors, those Kubla hills;
The steep oak-coombes still dry of leaf, still patient for
That tumbling swaying break of summer-green
All down these hillsides loud with song.
Song, sweet song; spring morning sun: dew-burden
Of the sun, rising in swift skill of spring and summer-gold,
Building the soft cloud-palaces of rhyme.Across this narrow sea
The mountain winds still listen with ap Gwilym: Taliessin sings
His lightnings through this shadowed world, above the dark
Inconstancies of men - the winter eye, the bloody hand;
Dry heart. One vision failed among these coombes; one singer
Thwarted by his fears: his garden choked - one span of palm
One squeeze of heart beneath the sheer immensities of stars,
The cold galaxies flashing their cruel fires.
Last night I slept within the primrose field;
Now those star-deserts yield to morning light: the young ear fills
As the blackbird sings the sun above the seaward hills:
Untempered, sweet aggression - glorious listening:
Throat of tunes, blackbird, his burden is his song.
This morning man sang morning to the primrose field, to the Kubla hills,
To these white rills that laugh the steep coombe-sides;
To the daffodil that leans its golden trumpet
Silently, frail child of sun against
The moving shadows in the lane.
Song, picture, music: eternities released, cage opened;
The grain of sand shining with the million million grains,
Bird-dream our image soaring to infinities of light:
Nature with our ears, our eyes,
Our mouth, our bodies: eternities released;
Each one a poem, a morning: the white rills
Sing the morning through the sunlit-coombes:
Cage opened; poem; eternities released.
Note: I am aware that the "Taliessin" poems to which I refer 'are actually from an anonymous 13th-century manuscript. I cannot resist the glamour of the name!