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Poem by Louise Imogen Guiney


On Leaving Winchester


A palmers kiss on thy familiar marge,
My oriel city, whence the soul hath sight
Of passional yesterdays, all gold and large,
Arising to enrich our narrow night:
Though others bless thee, who so blest before
Hath pastured, from the violent time apart,
And laved in supersensual light the heart
Alone with thy magnificent No More?

Sweet court of roses now, sweet camp of bees!
The hills that lean to thy white bed at dawn,
Hear, for the clash of raging dynasties,
Laughter of boys about a branchy lawn.
Hast thou a stain? Let ivy cover all;
Nor seem of greatness disinhabited,
While spirits in their wonted splendour tread
From close to close, by Wolveseys idle wall.

Bright fins against thy lucid water leap,
And nigh thy towers the nesting wood-dove dwell;
Be lenient winter, and long moons, and sleep
Upon thee, but on me the sharp Farewell.
Happy art thou, O clad and crowned with rest!
Happy the shepherd (would that I were he!)
Whose early way is step for step with thee,
Whose old brow fades on thine immortal breast.



Louise Imogen Guiney


Louise Imogen Guiney's other poems:
  1. On the Pre-Reformation Churches about Oxford
  2. A Ballad of Kenelm
  3. In a Ruin, after a Thunderstorm
  4. In a London Street
  5. Emily Brontë


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