The Swan

F. S. Flint - 1885-1960

Under the lily shadow
and the gold
and the blue and mauve
that the whin and the lilac
pour down on the water,
the fishes quiver.

Over the green cold leaves
and the rippled silver
and the tarnished copper
of its neck and beak,
toward the deep black water
beneath the arches,
the swan floats slowly.

Into the dark of the arch the swan floats
and into the black depth of my sorrow
it bears a white rose of flame.

More by F. S. Flint

[London, my beautiful]

London, my beautiful,
it is not the sunset
nor the pale green sky
shimmering through the curtain
of the silver birch,
nor the quietness;
it is not the hopping
of birds
upon the lawn,
nor the darkness
stealing over all things
that moves me.

But as the moon creeps slowly
over the tree-tops
among the stars,
I think of her
and the glow her passing
sheds on the men.

London, my beautiful,
I will climb
into the branches
to the moonlit tree-tops,
that my blood may be cooled
by the wind.

Hallucination

I know this room,
and there are corridors:
the pictures, I have seen before;
the statues and those gems in cases
I have wandered by before,—
stood there silent and lonely
in a dream of years ago.

I know the dark of night is all around me;
my eyes are closed, and I am half asleep.
My wife breathes gently at my side.

But once again this old dream is within me,
and I am on the threshold waiting,
wondering, pleased, and fearful.
Where do those doors lead,
what rooms lie beyond them?
I venture…

But my baby moves and tosses
from side to side,
and her need calls me to her.

Now I stand awake, unseeing,
in the dark,
and I move towards her cot…
I shall not reach her… There is no direction…
I shall walk on…

[Immortal?... No,]

Immortal?... No,
they cannot be, these people,
nor I.

Tired faces,
eyes that have never seen the world,
bodies that have never lived in air,
lips that have never minted speech,
they are the clipped and garbled,
blocking the highway.
They swarm and eddy
between the banks of glowing shops
towards the red meat,
the potherbs,
the cheapjacks,
or surge in
before the swift rush
of the clanging trams,—
pitiful, ugly, mean,
encumbering.

Immortal?...
In a wood,
watching the shadow of a bird
leap from frond to frond of bracken,
I am immortal.

But these?