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Poem by Eleanor Farjeon
Over the hearth on which we burned Brown beech-nuts, lichen-twigs, and cones, I sat beside her while she turned A forkèd wand within the pyre, Until two little spirts of fire Sprang from the hazel’s withered bones. Then, with her eyes upon her branch Pointed with ruddy nuts of flame, Like one who has no power to staunch The heart’s-blood flowing from his side, She through her mouth undammed a tide Of legends that I could not name:-- Strange villages where damsels fished For lovers in a rainbow sea By night: a crazy man who wished To act like God, and very soon Out-freaked the fools that raked the moon: Gold underneath an apple-tree Discovered by a thrice-dreamed dream: Half-tales, half-ballads--until the room Shook in its shadows with a stream Of pedlars, witches, cats in crowns, Denizens of enchanted towns, And kings confined in forests of gloom. Her voice went up and down like wind That wanders lost among the eaves; The flamelets on her hazel thinned And dwindled into smouldering eyes; Her voice failed like the wind that dies, She threw a handful of black leaves On the bright litter of the hearth And thrust her hazel’s double spark Within. The smell of smoking earth Rose from the stones where ceased to burn The fiery lines of cone and fern And berry: the room was dumb and dark.
Eleanor Farjeon's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org