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Poem by Louise Imogen Guiney

A Memory of a Breconshire Valley

     Patulis ubi vallibus errans,
     Subjacet aëriis montibus Isca pater.

                                   Ad Posteros.


I followed thee, wild stream of Paradise,
White Usk, forever showering the sunned bee
In the pink chestnut and the hawthorn tree;
And, all along, had magical surmise
Of mountains fluctuant in those vesper skies,
As unto mermen, caverned in mid-sea,
Far up the vast green reaches, soundlessly
The giant rollers form, and fall, and rise.
Above thy poets dust, by yonder yew,
Ere distance perished, ere a star began,
His clear monastic measure, heard of few,
Through lonelier glens of mine own being ran;
And thou to me wert dear, because I knew
The God who made thee gracious, and the man.


If, by that second lovers power controlled,
In sweet symbolic rite thy breath oerfills
Fields of no war with vagrant daffodils,
From distance unto distance trailing gold;
If dazzling sands or thickets thee enfold,
Transfigured Usk, where from their mossy sills
Gray hamlets kiss thee, and by herded hills
Diviner run thy shallows than of old;
If intellectual these, O name thy Vaughan
Creator too: and close his memory keep,
Who from thy fountain, kind to him, hath drawn
Birth, energy, and joy; devotion deep;
A play of thought more mystic than the dawn;
And death at home; and centuried sylvan sleep.

Louise Imogen Guiney

Louise Imogen Guiney's other poems:
  1. Writ in my Lord Clarendons History of the Rebellion
  2. On the Same (continued)
  3. A December Walk
  4. A Last Word on Shelley
  5. The Lights of London

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