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Poem by Charles Hamilton Sorley

Rooks (There is such cry in all these birds)

There is such cry in all these birds,
⁠     More than can ever be express'd;
If I should put it into words,
     ⁠You would agree it were not best
⁠     To wake such wonder from its rest.

But since to-night the world is still
⁠     And only they and I astir,
We are united, will to will,
⁠     By bondage tighter, tenderer
     ⁠Than any lovers ever were.

And if, of too much labouring,
⁠     All that I see around should die
(There is such sleep in each green thing,
⁠     Such weariness in all the sky),
⁠     We would live on, these birds and I.

Yet how? since everything must pass
⁠     At evening with the sinking sun,
And Christ is gone, and Barabbas,
⁠     Judas and Jesus, gone, clean gone,
⁠     Then how shall I live on?

Yet surely Judas must have heard
⁠     Amidst his torments the long cry
Of some lone Israelitish bird,
     ⁠And on it, ere he went to die,
     ⁠Thrown all his spirit's agony.

And that immortal cry which welled
⁠     For Judas, ever afterwards
Passion on passion still has swelled
⁠     And sweetened, till to-night these birds
     ⁠Will take my words, will take my words,

And wrapping them in music meet
⁠     Will sing their spirit through the sky,
Strange and unsatisfied and sweetЧ
⁠     That, when stock-dead am I, am I,
⁠     O, these will never die! 

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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