Opening of the Pasture


Within a closes nook beneath a shed

Nigh to the stack where stock in winter fed

Where black thorn thickets crowded close behind

& shielded cows & maidens from the wind

Two maidens sat free from the pasture sloughs

& told each other as they milked their cows

Their evening thoughts of love—while over head

The little Wren from its new dwelling fled

Who neath the hovels thatch with spring-hopes blest

Began to hang & build its curious nest

Of hair & feathers & root mosses green

It watched about & pickt its feathers clean

& cocked its tail & sung its evening strain

Then fluttering ventured to its nest again

While bluecaps blest the swelling buds to see

Repeated their two notes from tree to tree

The ass untethered rambling at his ease

 Knapt the black budding twigs of ashen trees

& sheep the green grass champt with greedy bite

A certain sign of sudden showers at night

(Lines 1-20)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Roger Arborfield There is a complex interwoven musical knot of songspeaking, not only in the line ending rhymes, but throughout. But it's never obtrusive (to me) because it's always subservient to the seemingly simple observations. The poet saying, I sound like I'm speaking plainly and descriptively, but there's a sophisticated symphony going on behind my sense that makes these sung things real! Certain Sign of Sudden showerS, and also certaiN with sIGN and suddeN and Night (that end rhymes with bite and echos from the long i of sIGN). CERtain with showERS. Looking up from there it's a sound system well prepared for: SHeep will echo in SHowers. GReen GRass and GReedy. chAMPT and bITE (with AT and nIGHT), kNAPT and chAMPT, BLack Budding (prepared for with BLuecaps BLessed the swelling Buds), ASHen (that will echo in SHeep and SHowers). But pulling back from such close examination of the sound system, Clare is noted for making these airy nothings of song seem observed and real. A world made present by poetry. (George Wood)