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Poem by Charles Hamilton Sorley


Stones


This field is almost white with stones
⁠     That cumber all its thirsty crust.
And underneath, I know, are bones,
⁠     And all around is death and dust.

And if you love a livelier hue
⁠     O, if you love the youth of year,
When all is clean and green and new,
     ⁠Depart. There is no summer here.

Albeit, to me there lingers yet
⁠     In this forbidding stony dress
The impotent and dim regret
⁠     For some forgotten restlessness.

Dumb, imperceptibly astir,
⁠     These relics of an ancient race,
These men, in whom the dead bones were
⁠     Still fortifying their resting-place.

Their field of life was white with stones;
⁠     Good fruit to earth they never brought.
O, in these bleached and buried bones
⁠     Was neither love nor faith nor thought.

But like the wind in this bleak place,
⁠     Bitter and bleak and sharp they grew,
And bitterly they ran their race,
⁠     A brutal, bad, unkindly crew:

Souls like the dry earth, hearts like stone,
⁠     Brains like that barren bramble-tree:
Stern, sterile, senseless, mute, unknown
⁠     But bold, O, bolder far than we! 

14 July 1913

Charles Hamilton Sorley


Charles Hamilton Sorley's other poems:
  1. There Is Such Change in All Those Fields
  2. East Kennet Church at Evening
  3. Le Revenant
  4. In Memoriam S. C. W., V.C.
  5. J. B.


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