Strawberries in June you give to me

Strawberries in June you give to me ,
With sugar powdered lavishly ,
Rounded and ripely red are they
As from some picture painted gay
Of croquet on the lawn, and tea
At four beneath the cherry tree :
Huge praise is due , let all agree ,
To those who nobly give away
Strawberries in June .

In years to come this thought shall be
A garden gate to memory :
Next year and every year I may
On many a long and sunlit day
Recall your kindness when I see
Strawberries in June .

Curries of Walnut Cottage . 22 June 1954

Now , even now , while conscious of some betrayal

Now , even now , while conscious of some betrayal
You pause , the malicious word half-spoken ,
He where he lies in torment takes new breath ;
You shrug and gossip on , a weak vow broken ;
Fresh pain assails him ; now he moans , half-conscious ,
Cockcrow comes hard upon the third denial :
In the grey light , as the sullen tide sets seaward ,
His little strength ebbs slowly to his death .

You in the sunlight , you in the happy garden ,
You strong and young , with young friends at your will
Remember him you have blinded and made dumb ;
His cup of life was yours to save or spill ;
You have tossed his blood on the grass as you sat in sunlight .
Leave all and fly to him , take back your burden ,
Rescue him now , even now , as the tide sets seaward ,
He is your soul , he is your life to come .

21 June 1954



Now starlight is pale
I shine on thee sleeping ,
Sweet body too frail
To rest in my keeping .

My stars blaze on high :
All winter has seen them ,
Nailed out on the sky ,
Taut vastness between them .

Now starlight is pale
Rise up and behold me ,
Sweet body too frail
In love to enfold me .

Here silent I wait ,
Thine ever , thine only ,
Orion the great ,
Orion the lonely .

20 June 1954

The Secret

The Secret

The lark had heard it from the meadow grasses ,
The grasses from the wind , the wind from the reeds ;
The reeds had seen it written in the water
By the long drooping fingers of the willow ;
The willow heard it from the singing river ;
But where the river heard it , who can tell ?
I cannot read the secret in the water —
Come now to me my sudden kingfisher ,
Come as my master , my interpreter :
Teach me to listen , teach me to decipher .
That I may grow at last to share that secret
Written by willow fingers in the water ,
Told by the reeds to the wind , by the wind to the grasses ,
And so by the sweet meadow grasses to the morning lark .

17 June 1954