Showing posts with label Charlotte Mew (1869–1928). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charlotte Mew (1869–1928). Show all posts

Charlotte Mew – In The Fields

Charlotte Mew-In The Fields

Lord when I look at lovely things which pass,
Under old trees the shadow of young leaves
Dancing to please the wind along the grass,
Or the gold stillness of the August sun on the August sheaves;
Can I believe there is a heavenlier world than this?
And if there is
Will the heart of any everlasting thing
Bring me these dreams that take my breath away?
They come at evening with the home-flying rooks and the scent
of hay,
Over the fields. They come in spring.

Charlotte Mew – Ken

Charlotte Mew-Ken

The town is old and very steep
    A place of bells and cloisters and grey towers,
And black-clad people walking in their sleep—
     A nun, a priest, a woman taking flowers
     To her new grave; and watched from end to end
     By the great Church above, through the still hours:
         But in the morning and the early dark
The children wake to dart from doors and call
Down the wide, crooked street, where, at the bend,
         Before it climbs up to the park,
Ken’s is in the gabled house facing the Castle wall.
When first I came upon him there
Suddenly, on the half-lit stair,
I think I hardly found a trace
Of likeness to a human face
     In his. And I said then
If in His image God made men,
Some other must have made poor Ken—
But for his eyes which looked at you
As two red, wounded stars might do.
He scarcely spoke, you scarcely heard,
His voice broke off in little jars
To tears sometimes. An uncouth bird
     He seemed as he ploughed up the street,
Groping, with knarred, high-lifted feet
     And arms thrust out as if to beat
          Always against a threat of bars.
     And oftener than not there’d be
     A child just higher than his knee
Trotting beside him. Through his dim
     Long twilight this, at least, shone clear,
     That all the children and the deer,
        Whom every day he went to see
Out in the park, belonged to him.
         “God help the folk that next him sits
         He fidgets so, with his poor wits,”
The neighbours said on Sunday nights
When he would go to Church to “see the lights!”
     Although for these he used to fix                                                          
     His eyes upon a crucifix
     In a dark corner, staring on
    Till everybody else had gone.
    And sometimes, in his evil fits,
You could not move him from his chair—
You did not look at him as he sat there,
     Biting his rosary to bits.
While pointing to the Christ he tried to say,
    “Take it away”.
     Nothing was dead:
He said “a bird” if he picked up a broken wing,
     A perished leaf or any such thing
     Was just “a rose”; and once when I had said
  He must not stand and knock there any more,
  He left a twig on the mat outside my door.
     Not long ago
The last thrush stiffened in the snow,
    While black against a sullen sky
       The sighing pines stood by.
But now the wind has left our rattled pane
To flutter the hedge-sparrow’s wing,
The birches in the wood are red again
       And only yesterday
The larks went up a little way to sing
       What lovers say
   Who loiter in the lanes to-day;
   The buds begin to talk of May
   With learned rooks on city trees,
        And if God please
       With all of these
We, too, shall see another Spring.
But in that red brick barn upon the hill
    I wonder—can one own the deer,
And does one walk with children still
        As one did here?
        Do roses grow
Beneath those twenty windows in a row—
        And if some night
When you have not seen any light
They cannot move you from your chair
        What happens there?
         I do not know.
       So, when they took
Ken to that place, I did not look
After he called and turned on me
His eyes. These I shall see—

Charlotte Mew – Madeleine in Church

Charlotte Mew-Madeleine in Church

Here, in the darkness, where this plaster saint
       Stands nearer than God stands to our distress,
And one small candle shines, but not so faint
     As the far lights of everlastingness,
I’d rather kneel than over there, in open day
     Where Christ is hanging, rather pray
         To something more like my own clay,
                     Not too divine;
         For, once, perhaps my little saint
         Before he got his niche and crown,
     Had one short stroll about the town;
     It brings him closer, just that taint—
            And anyone can wash the paint
     Off our poor faces, his and mine!

Is that why I see Monty now? equal to any saint, poor boy, as good as gold,
But still, with just the proper trace
Of earthliness on his shining wedding face;
And then gone suddenly blank and old
The hateful day of the divorce:
Stuart got his, hands down, of course
Crowing like twenty cocks and grinning like a horse:
But Monty took it hard. All said and done I liked him best,—
He was the first, he stands out clearer than the rest.
                             It seems too funny all we other rips
       Should have immortal souls; Monty and Redge quite damnably
       Keep theirs afloat while we go down like scuttled ships.—
                            It’s funny too, how easily we sink,
                            One might put up a monument, I think
               To half the world and cut across it “Lost at Sea!”
I should drown Jim, poor little sparrow, if I netted him to-night—
                         No, it’s no use this penny light—
                Or my poor saint with his tin-pot crown—
                The trees of Calvary are where they were,
                       When we are sure that we can spare
                   The tallest, let us go and strike it down
                And leave the other two still standing there.
                                         I, too, would ask Him to remember me
         If there were any Paradise beyond this earth that I could see.                          
                             Oh! quiet Christ who never knew
                     The poisonous fangs that bite us through
                              And make us do the things we do,
                     See how we suffer and fight and die,
                              How helpless and how low we lie,
                     God holds You, and You hang so high,
                     Though no one looking long at You,
                              Can think You do not suffer too,
But, up there, from your still, star-lighted tree
        What can You know, what can You really see
                Of this dark ditch, the soul of me!
                We are what we are: when I was half a child I could not sit
Watching black shadows on green lawns and red carnations burning in the sun,
                                                   Without paying so heavily for it
                That joy and pain, like any mother and her unborn child were almost one.
                                                         I could hardly bear
                                 The dreams upon the eyes of white geraniums in the dusk,
                                                 The thick, close voice of musk,
                                        The jessamine music on the thin night air,
                                  Or, sometimes, my own hands about me anywhere —
   The sight of my own face (for it was lovely then) even the scent of my own hair,
            Oh! there was nothing, nothing that did not sweep to the high seat
                     Of laughing gods, and then blow down and beat
   My soul into the highway dust, as hoofs do the dropped roses of the street.
                                            I think my body was my soul,
                                           And when we are made thus
                                                   Who shall control
                           Our hands, our eyes, the wandering passion of our feet,
                                           Who shall teach us
   To thrust the world out of our heart: to say, till perhaps in death,
                                                  When the race is run,
           And it is forced from us with our last breath
                                                  “Thy will be done”?
If it is Your will that we should be content with the tame, bloodless things.
                As pale as angels smirking by, with folded wings—
                        Oh! I know Virtue, and the peace it brings!
                                                   The temperate, well-worn smile
                The one man gives you, when you are evermore his own:
                    And afterwards the child’s, for a little while,
                                                 With its unknowing and all-seeing eyes
          So soon to change, and make you feel how quick
       The clock goes round. If one had learned the trick—
                                                            (How does one though?) quite early on,
                          Of long green pastures under placid skies,
                          One might be walking now with patient truth.
          What did we ever care for it, who have asked for youth,
                          When, oh! my God! this is going or has gone?
                              There is a portrait of my mother, at nineteen,
                     With the black spaniel, standing by the garden seat,
                     The dainty head held high against the painted green
And throwing out the youngest smile, shy, but half haughty and half sweet.
                     Her picture then: but simply Youth, or simply Spring
                                  To me to-day: a radiance on the wall,
                                  So exquisite, so heart-breaking a thing
                     Beside the mask that I remember, shrunk and small,
                                     Sapless and lined like a dead leaf,
All that was left of oh! the loveliest face, by time and grief!
    And in the glass, last night, I saw a ghost behind my chair—
    Yet why remember it, when one can still go moderately gay—?
                Or could—with any one of the old crew,
                        But oh! these boys! the solemn way
                They take you and the things they say—
                This “I have only as long as you”
    When you remind them you are not precisely twenty-two—
                Although at heart perhaps—God! if it were
                                Only the face, only the hair!
                        If Jim had written to me as he did to-day
                        A year ago—and now it leaves me cold—
                                 I know what this means, old, old, old:
                        Et avec ça—mais on a vécu, tout se paie.
That is not always true: there was my Mother (well at least the dead are free!)
                Yoked to the man that Father was; yoked to the woman I am, Monty too;
                The little portress at the Convent School, stewing in hell so patiently;
The poor, fair boy who shot himself at Aix. And what of me—and what of me ?
                But I, I paid for what I had, and they for nothing. No, one cannot see
                           How it shall be made up to them in some serene eternity.
If there were fifty heavens God could not give us back the child who went or never came;
                 Here, on our little patch of this great earth, the sun of any darkened day.
              Not one of all the starry buds hung on the hawthorn trees of last year’s May,
                              No shadow from the sloping fields of yesterday;
                 For every hour they slant across the hedge a different way,
                                 The shadows are never the same.
                     “Find rest in Him” One knows the parsons’ tags—
                 Back to the fold, across the evening fields, like any flock of baa-ing sheep:
Yes, it may be, when He has shorn, led us to slaughter, torn the bleating soul in us to rags,
                                 For so He giveth His belovèd sleep.
                             Oh! He will take us stripped and done,
                             Driven into His heart. So we are won:
                  Then safe, safe are we? in the shelter of His everlasting wings—
                  I do not envy Him his victories, His arms are full of broken things.
                         But I shall not be in them. Let Him take
                                 The finer ones, the easier to break.
And they are not gone, yet, for me, the lights, the colours, the perfumes,
                         Though now they speak rather in sumptuous rooms.
                                          In silks and in gemlike wines;
                  Here, even, in this corner where my little candle shines
                                          And overhead the lancet-window glows
                         With golds and crimsons you could almost drink 
To know how jewels taste, just as I used to think
There was the scent in every red and yellow rose
                                Of all the sunsets. But this place is grey,
                                       And much too quiet. No one here,
                                       Why, this is awful, this is fear!
                                                  Nothing to see, no face.
                         Nothing to hear except your heart beating in space
                                        As if the world was ended. Dead at last!
                                        Dead soul, dead body, tied together fast.
                         These to go on with and alone, to the slow end:
                 No one to sit with, really, or to speak to, friend to friend:
                         Out of the long procession, black or white or red
Not one left now to say “Still I am here, then see you, dear, lay here your head”.
                         Only the doll’s house looking on the Park
                 To-night, all nights, I know, when the man puts the lights out, very dark.
With, upstairs, in the blue and gold box of a room, just the maids' footsteps overhead,
Then utter silence and the empty world—the room—the bed—
                                         The corpse! No, not quite dead, while this cries out in me.
                                                          But nearly: very soon to be
                                                          A handful of forgotten dust—
                                        There must be someone. Christ! there must,
                                             Tell me there will be someone. Who?
                                        If there were no one else, could it be You?
                                        How old was Mary out of whom you cast
                 So many devils? Was she young or perhaps for years
She had sat staring, with dry eyes, at this and that man going past
                 Till suddenly she saw You on the steps of Simon’s house
                                        And stood and looked at You through tears.
                                                     I think she must have known by those
                                        The thing, for what it was that had come to her.
                                        For some of us there is a passion, I suppose,
                                        So far from earthly cares and earthly fears
                                        That in its stillness you can hardly stir
                                                     Or in its nearness, lift your hand,
                                        So great that you have simply got to stand
                                        Looking at it through tears, through tears.
                                        Then straight from these there broke the kiss,
                                                    I think You must have known by this
                                        The thing, for what it was, that had come to You:
                                                    She did not love You like the rest,
                                         It was in her own way, but at the worst, the best,
                                                    She gave You something altogether new.
                                         And through it all, from her, no word,
                                                    She scarcely saw You, scarcely heard:
                                         Surely You knew when she so touched You with her hair,
                                                    Or by the wet cheek lying there,
And while her perfume clung to You from head to feet all through the day
                                         That You can change the things for which we care,
                                         But even You, unless You kill us, not the way.
                                         This, then was peace for her, but passion too.        
                                         I wonder was it like a kiss that once I knew,
                                              The only one that I would care to take
       Into the grave with me, to which if there were afterwards, to wake.
                                              Almost as happy as the carven dead
                                         In some dim chancel lying head by head
       We slept with it, but face to face, the whole night through—
One breath, one throbbing quietness, as if the thing behind our lips was endless life,
       Lost, as I woke, to hear in the strange earthly dawn, his “Are you there?”
                                   And lie still, listening to the wind outside, among the firs.
       So Mary chose the dream of Him for what was left to her of night and day,
It is the only truth: it is the dream in us that neither life nor death nor any other
                               thing can take away:
       But if she had not touched Him in the doorway of the dream could she have
                               cared so much ?
       She was a sinner, we are what we are: the spirit afterwards, but first the touch.
And He has never shared with me my haunted house beneath the trees
Of Eden and Calvary, with its ghosts that have not any eyes for tears,
And the happier guests who would not see, or if they did, remember these,
                                                      Though they lived there a thousand years.
                                       Outside, too gravely looking at me. He seems to stand,
                                                    And looking at Him, if my forgotten spirit came
                                                            Unwillingly back, what could it claim
                                                            Of those calm eyes, that quiet speech,
                                                    Breaking like a slow tide upon the beach,
                                                            The scarred, not quite human hand ?—
                                       Unwillingly back to the burden of old imaginings
                                       When it has learned so long not to think, not to be,
              Again, again it would speak as it has spoken to me of things
                                                             That I shall not see!
              I cannot bear to look at this divinely bent and gracious head:
                     When I was small I never quite believed that He was dead:
                         And at the Convent school I used to lie awake in bed
              Thinking about His hands. It did not matter what they said,
     He was alive to me, so hurt, so hurt! And most of all in Holy Week
                                      When there was no one else to see
                              I used to think it would not hurt me too, so terribly,
                                               If He had ever seemed to notice me
                                               Or, if, for once, He would only speak.

Charlotte Mew – A Quoi Bon Dire

Charlotte Mew-A Quoi Bon Dire

Seventeen years ago you said
Something that sounded like Good-bye;
And everybody thinks that you are dead,
But I.

So I, as I grow stiff and cold
To this and that say Good-bye too;
And everybody sees that I am old
But you.

And one fine morning in a sunny lane
Some boy and girl will meet and kiss and swear
That nobody can love their way again
While over there
You will have smiled, I shall have tossed your hair.

Charlotte Mew – On the Road to the Sea

Charlotte Mew-On the Road to the Sea

We passed each other, turned and stopped for half an hour, then went our way,
I who make other women smile did not make you--
But no man can move mountains in a day.
So this hard thing is yet to do.

But first I want your life:--before I die I want to see
The world that lies behind the strangeness of your eyes,
There is nothing gay or green there for my gathering, it may be,
Yet on brown fields there lies
A haunting purple bloom: is there not something in grey skies
And in grey sea?
I want what world there is behind your eyes,
I want your life and you will not give it me.

Now, if I look, I see you walking down the years,
Young, and through August fields--a face, a thought, a swinging dream
perched on a stile--;
I would have liked (so vile we are!) to have taught you tears
But most to have made you smile.
To-day is not enough or yesterday: God sees it all--
Your length on sunny lawns, the wakeful rainy nights--; tell me--;
(how vain to ask), but it is not a question--just a call--;
Show me then, only your notched inches climbing up the garden wall,
I like you best when you are small.

Is this a stupid thing to say
Not having spent with you one day?
No matter; I shall never touch your hair
Or hear the little tick behind your breast,
Still it is there,
And as a flying bird
Brushes the branches where it may not rest
I have brushed your hand and heard
The child in you: I like that best
So small, so dark, so sweet; and were you also then too grave and wise?
Always I think. Then put your far off little hand in mine;--
Oh! let it rest;
I will not stare into the early world beyond the opening eyes,
Or vex or scare what I love best.
But I want your life before mine bleeds away--
Here--not in heavenly hereafters--soon,--
I want your smile this very afternoon,
(The last of all my vices, pleasant people used to say,
I wanted and I sometimes got--the Moon!)

You know, at dusk, the last bird's cry,
And round the house the flap of the bat's low flight,
Trees that go black against the sky
And then--how soon the night!

No shadow of you on any bright road again,
And at the darkening end of this--what voice? whose kiss? As if you'd say!
It is not I who have walked with you, it will not be I who take away
Peace, peace, my little handful of the gleaner's grain
From your reaped fields at the shut of day.

Peace! Would you not rather die
Reeling,--with all the cannons at your ear?
So, at least, would I,
And I may not be here
To-night, to-morrow morning or next year.
Still I will let you keep your life a little while,
See dear?
I have made you smile.

Charlotte Mew – The Changeling

Charlotte Mew-The Changeling

Toll no bell for me, dear Father dear Mother,
Waste no sighs;
There are my sisters, there is my little brother
Who plays in the place called Paradise,
Your children all, your children for ever;
But I, so wild,
Your disgrace, with the queer brown face, was never,
Never, I know, but half your child!

In the garden at play, all day, last summer,
Far and away I heard
The sweet "tweet-tweet" of a strange new-comer,
The dearest, clearest call of a bird.
It lived down there in the deep green hollow,
My own old home, and the fairies say
The word of a bird is a thing to follow,
So I was away a night and a day.

One evening, too, by the nursery fire,
We snuggled close and sat roudn so still,
When suddenly as the wind blew higher,
Something scratched on the window-sill,
A pinched brown face peered in--I shivered;
No one listened or seemed to see;
The arms of it waved and the wings of it quivered,
Whoo--I knew it had come for me!
Some are as bad as bad can be!
All night long they danced in the rain,
Round and round in a dripping chain,
Threw their caps at the window-pane,
Tried to make me scream and shout
And fling the bedclothes all about:
I meant to stay in bed that night,
And if only you had left a light
They would never have got me out!

Sometimes I wouldn't speak, you see,
Or answer when you spoke to me,
Because in the long, still dusks of Spring
You can hear the whole world whispering;
The shy green grasses making love,
The feathers grow on the dear grey dove,
The tiny heart of the redstart beat,
The patter of the squirrel's feet,
The pebbles pushing in the silver streams,
The rushes talking in their dreams,
The swish-swish of the bat's black wings,
The wild-wood bluebell's sweet ting-tings,
Humming and hammering at your ear,
Everything there is to hear
In the heart of hidden things.
But not in the midst of the nursery riot,
That's why I wanted to be quiet,
Couldn't do my sums, or sing,
Or settle down to anything.
And when, for that, I was sent upstairs
I did kneel down to say my prayers;
But the King who sits on your high church steeple
Has nothing to do with us fairy people!

'Times I pleased you, dear Father, dear Mother,
Learned all my lessons and liked to play,
And dearly I loved the little pale brother
Whom some other bird must have called away.
Why did they bring me here to make me
Not quite bad and not quite good,
Why, unless They're wicked, do They want, in spite,
to take me
Back to Their wet, wild wood?
Now, every nithing I shall see the windows shining,
The gold lamp's glow, and the fire's red gleam,
While the best of us are twining twigs and the rest of us
are whining
In the hollow by the stream.
Black and chill are Their nights on the wold;
And They live so long and They feel no pain:
I shall grow up, but never grow old,
I shall always, always be very cold,
I shall never come back again!

Charlotte Mew – I Have Been Through The Gates

Charlotte Mew-I Have Been Through The Gates

His heart to me, was a place of palaces and pinnacles and shining towers;
I saw it then as we see things in dreams,--I do not remember how long I slept;
I remember the tress, and the high, white walls, and how the sun was always on the
The walls are standing to-day, and the gates; I have been through the gates, I have
groped, I have crept
Back, back. There is dust in the streets, and blood; they are empty; darkness is over
His heart is a place with the lights gone out, forsaken by great winds and the heavenly
rain, unclean and unswept,
Like the heart of the holy city, old blind, beautiful Jerusalem;
Over which Christ wept

Charlotte Mew – Monsieur Qui Passe

Charlotte Mew-Monsieur Qui Passe

A purple blot against the dead white door
In my friend's rooms, bathed in their vile pink light,
I had not noticed her before
She snatched my eyes and threw them back to me:
She did not speak till we came out into the night,
Paused at this bench beside the klosk on the quay.

God knows precisely what she said--
I left to her the twisted skein,
Though here and there I caught a thread,--
Something, at first, about "the lamps along the Seine,
And Paris, with that witching card of Spring
Kept up her sleeve,--why you could see
The trick done on these freezing winter nights!
While half the kisses of the Quay--
Youth, hope,-the whole enchanted string
Of dreams hung on the Seine's long line of lights."

Then suddenly she stripped, the very skin
Came off her soul,-a mere girl clings
Longer to some last rag, however thin,
When she has shown you-well-all sorts of things:
"If it were daylight-oh! one keeps one's head--
But fourteen years!--No one has ever guessed--
The whole thing starts when one gets to bed--
Death?-If the dead would tell us they had rest!
But your eyes held it as I stood there by the door--
One speaks to Christ-one tries to catch His garment's hem--
One hardly says as much to Him--no more:
It was not you, it was your eyes--I spoke to them."

She stopped like a shot bird that flutters still,
And drops, and tries to run again, and swerves.
The tale should end in some walled house upon a hill.
My eyes, at least, won't play such havoc there,--
Or hers--But she had hair!--blood dipped in gold;
And there she left me throwing back the first odd stare.
Some sort of beauty once, but turning yellow, getting old.
Pouah! These women and their nerves!
God! but the night is cold!

Charlotte Mew – Sea Love

Charlotte Mew-Sea Love

Tide be runnin' the great world over:
'Twas only last June month I mind that we
Was thinkin' the toss and the call in the breast of the lover
So everlastin' as the sea.

Heer's the same little fishes that sputter an swim,
Wi' the moon's old glim on the grey, wet sand;
An' him no more to me mor me to him
Than the wind goin' over my hand.

Charlotte Mew – To A Child In Death

Charlotte Mew-To A Child In Death

You would have scoffed if we had told you yesterday
Love made us feel, or so it was with me, like some great bird
Trying to hold and shelter you in its strong wing: --
A gay little shadowy smile would have tossed us back such a solemn word,
And it was not for that you were listening When so quietly you slipped away
With half the music of the world unheard.

What shall we do with this strange summer, meant for you, --
Dear, if we see the winter through What shall be done with spring -- ?
This, this is the victory of the grave; here is death's sting.
That it is not strong enough, our strongest wing.

But what of His who like a Father pitieth?
His Son was also, once, a little thing,
The wistfullest child that ever drew breath,
Chased by a sword from Bethlehem and in the busy house at Nazereth
Playing with little rows of nails, watching the carpenter's hammer swing,
Long years before His hands and feet were tied
And by a hammer and three great nails He died,
Of youth, of spring, Of sorrow, of loneliness, of victory the King,
Under the shadow of that wing.

Charlotte Mew – Absence

Charlotte Mew-Absence

Sometimes I know the way
You walk, up over the bay;
It is a wind from that far sea
That blows the fragrance of your hair to me.

Or in this garden when the breeze
Touches my trees
To stir their dreaming shadows on the grass
I see you pass.

In sheltered beds, the heart of every rose
Serenely sleeps to-night. As shut as those
Your garded heart; as safe as they fomr the beat, beat
Of hooves that tread dropped roses in the street.

Turn never again
On these eyes blind with a wild rain
Your eyes; they were stars to me.--
There are things stars may not see.

But call, call, and though Christ stands
Still with scarred hands
Over my mouth, I must answer. So
I will come--He shall let me go!

Charlotte Mew – I So Liked Spring

Charlotte Mew-I So Liked Spring

I so liked Spring last year
Because you were here;-
The thrushes too-
Because it was these you so liked to hear-
I so liked you.

This year's a different thing,-
I'll not think of you.
But I'll like the Spring because it is simply spring
As the thrushes do.

Charlotte Mew – My Heart is Lame

Charlotte Mew-My Heart is Lame

My heart is lame with running after yours so fast
Such a long way,
Shall we walk slowly home, looking at all the things we passed
Perhaps to-day?

Home down the quiet evening roads under the quiet skies,
Not saying much,
You for a moment giving me your eyes
When you could bear my touch.

But not to-morrow. This has taken all my breath;
Then, though you look the same,
There may be something lovelier in Love's face in death
As your heart sees it, running back the way we came;
My heart is lame.

Charlotte Mew – The Trees are Down

Charlotte Mew-The Trees are Down

—and he cried with a loud voice:
Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees—

They are cutting down the great plane-trees at the end of the gardens.
For days there has been the grate of the saw, the swish of the branches as they fall,
The crash of the trunks, the rustle of trodden leaves,
With the ‘Whoops’ and the ‘Whoas,’ the loud common talk, the loud common laughs of the men, above it all.

I remember one evening of a long past Spring
Turning in at a gate, getting out of a cart, and finding a large dead rat in the mud of the drive.
I remember thinking: alive or dead, a rat was a god-forsaken thing,
But at least, in May, that even a rat should be alive.

The week’s work here is as good as done. There is just one bough
   On the roped bole, in the fine grey rain,
             Green and high
             And lonely against the sky.
                   (Down now!—)
             And but for that,   
             If an old dead rat
Did once, for a moment, unmake the Spring, I might never have thought of him again.

It is not for a moment the Spring is unmade to-day;
These were great trees, it was in them from root to stem:
When the men with the ‘Whoops’ and the ‘Whoas’ have carted the whole of the whispering loveliness away
Half the Spring, for me, will have gone with them.

It is going now, and my heart has been struck with the hearts of the planes;
Half my life it has beat with these, in the sun, in the rains,   
             In the March wind, the May breeze,
In the great gales that came over to them across the roofs from the great seas.
             There was only a quiet rain when they were dying;
             They must have heard the sparrows flying,   
And the small creeping creatures in the earth where they were lying—
             But I, all day, I heard an angel crying:
             ‘Hurt not the trees.’

Charlotte Mew – Saturday Market

Charlotte Mew-Saturday Market

Bury your heart in some deep green hollow
     Or hide it up in a kind old tree;
Better still, give it the swallow
     When she goes over the sea.
In Saturday’s Market there’s eggs a ’plenty
     And dead-alive ducks with their legs tied down,
Grey old gaffers and boys of twenty—
     Girls and the women of the town—
Pitchers and sugar-sticks, ribbons and laces,
     Poises and whips and dicky-birds’ seed,
Silver pieces and smiling faces,
     In Saturday Market they’ve all they need.
What were you showing in Saturday Market
     That set it grinning from end to end
Girls and gaffers and boys of twenty—?
     Cover it close with your shawl, my friend—
Hasten you home with the laugh behind you,
     Over the down—, out of sight,
Fasten your door, though no one will find you,
     No one will look on a Market night.
See, you, the shawl is wet, take out from under
     The red dead thing—. In the white of the moon
On the flags does it stir again? Well, and no wonder!
     Best make an end of it; bury it soon.
If there is blood on the hearth who’ll know it?
     Or blood on the stairs,
When a murder is over and done why show it?
     In Saturday Market nobody cares.
Then lie you straight on your bed for a short, short weeping
     And still, for a long, long rest,
There’s never a one in the town so sure of sleeping
     As you, in the house on the down with a hole in your breast.
              Think no more of the swallow,
                     Forget, you, the sea,
     Never again remember the deep green hollow
                     Or the top of the kind old tree!

Charlotte Mew – The Peddler

Charlotte Mew-The Peddler

Lend me, a little while, the key
That locks your heavy heart, and I'll give you back--
Rarer than books and ribbons and beads bright to see,
This little Key of Dreams out of my pack.

The road, the road, beyond men's bolted doors,
There shall I walk and you go free of me,
For yours lies North across the moors,
And mine lies South. To what seas?

How if we stopped and let our solemn selves go by,
While my gay ghost caught and kissed yours, as ghosts don't do,
And by the wayside, this forgotten you and I
Sat, and were twenty-two?
Give me the key that locks your tired eyes,
And I will lend you this one from my pack,
Brighter than colored beads and painted books that make men wise:
Take it. No, give it back!

Charlotte Mew – Rooms

Charlotte Mew-Rooms

I remember rooms that have had their part
     In the steady slowing down of the heart.
The room in Paris, the room at Geneva,
The little damp room with the seaweed smell,
And that ceaseless maddening sound of the tide—
     Rooms where for good or for ill—things died.
But there is the room where we (two) lie dead,
Though every morning we seem to wake and might just as well seem to sleep again
     As we shall somewhere in the other quieter, dustier bed
     Out there in the sun—in the rain.

Charlotte Mew – The Morning Light

Charlotte Mew-The Morning Light

The morning light
crawls across my face,
caressing it like a gentle kiss.
Thoughts of you overwhelm my mind
leaving me in tangles.

I find your message on my phone.
A poem.
As I read,
I bask in the warmth
of your prose,
being bathed in its beauty.
Though the words are not for me,
the desire wells inside me
to be the muse to your art,
to shape your imagination
in the form of my body.

How I long to touch your face.
For your fingers to softly graze
my cheek as your gaze
slowly suffocates me.
To feel the pressure of your mouth
against mine until
my every thought
is reduced to ash
from the fire
that engulfs me.

Charlotte Mew – Not for That City

Charlotte Mew-Not for That City

Not for that city of the level sun,
     Its golden streets and glittering gates ablaze—
     The shadeless, sleepless city of white days,
White nights, or nights and days that are as one—
We weary, when all is said , all thought, all done.
     We strain our eyes beyond this dusk to see
     What, from the threshold of eternity
We shall step into. No, I think we shun
The splendour of that everlasting glare,
   The clamour of that never-ending song.
   And if for anything we greatly long,
It is for some remote and quiet stair
     Which winds to silence and a space for sleep
     Too sound for waking and for dreams too deep.

Charlotte Mew – From a Window

Charlotte Mew-From a Window

 Up here, with June, the sycamore throws
                      Across the window a whispering screen;
        I shall miss the sycamore more, I suppose,
Than anything else on this earth that is out in green.
             But I mean to go through the door without fear,
             Not caring much what happens here
                           When I’m away:—
How green the screen is across the panes
              Or who goes laughing along the lanes
        With my old lover all summer day.