We three hereafter undersigned

We three hereafter undersigned
All now assembled here
Wish you with merry heart and mind
A Birthday of good cheer,
Because we love you dear
And want you to live happily
As we have often told you,
So no one shall speak snappily
Or frown at you or scold you

We wish that every morning you
May wake up blithe and gay
And rise more fresh than early dew
Prepared in every way
To face the toilsome day,
And each day gaily carry on
Till evening bring you bedward,
And this we wish from Marion
From Richard and from Edward

presumably June 11th 1951

O sweet woods the delight of solitariness

two pages

[Sestina to Sidney]

O sweet woods the delight of solitariness ,
Forget that far Elizabethan autumn,
Drown my heart deep beneath your drifting leaves.
Rust and dead earth have long consumed that sword
Drawn by a poet in defence of beauty,
Drawn by a poet in defence of love.

Triumphant soul, who lived and died for love,
Fly on the wind to share this solitariness,
On this rough wind that sways the woods of autumn
To strew your path with gold of drifting leaves :
Walk here once more ; forget the rusty sword,
Remember only this autumnal beauty.

It has not changed with years, this rustling beauty :
Since last you lingered here to dream of love,
To cherish your delight in solitariness,
Walking enchanted through the woods of autumn
Beneath a golden canopy of leaves,
Nothing has changed here but the rusting sword.

Yet now between us lies the rusty sword :
You came to joy in solitary beauty.
I came to take farewell of life and love.
Do I intrude upon your solitariness,
Ghost of that far Elizabethan autumn
Dreaming forever of these drifting leaves?

You rested on this bank of rustling leaves,
And idly watched the sunlight on your sword :
You left your dreams of courtesy and beauty
To cross the sea for honour of your love,
Entered alone a greater solitariness
And came no more to see the woods of autumn.

my second side to continue

Cold in that far Elizabethan autumn
A shadow fell across the drifting leaves
War and destruction, rust upon the sword :
I walk amid this new autumnal beauty
Dreading the doom of beauty and of love
In mad destruction’s wilful solitariness .
Farewell to solitariness, farewell to autumn :
Far from these rustling leaves I draw my sword
To vindicate their beauty and my love .

[ Marion wrote this out on a single side of paper. Undated . The paper as well as the writing matches Lie down… ]

Lie still, lie still where green light filters down

Lie still, lie still where green light filters down
Through grass and crumbling clay :
Lenten is come with love to town ,
Now springs the spray .
Last year when cherry trees were gay
You danced your fill :
They dance above your grave today :
Lie still.

Sleep long , sleep long , where soft rain filters down
Through sodden grass and clay :
Lenten is come with love to town ,
Now springs the spray .
Last year when waking birds were gay
You loved their song :
They sing above your grave today :
Sleep long.

Dream deep , dream deep , where south winds whisper down
Through grass and crumbling clay :
Lenten is come with love to town ,
Now springs the spray .
Last year when love was new and gay
I watched your sleep :
I watch beside your grave today :
Dream deep.

Undated; but the paper as well as the writing matches the sestina to Sidney.

The Retort Courteous

The Retort Courteous

Tuesday again with ghastly looks the great Olympians stand
Thrusting a red-hot bulletin from hand to trembling hand :
For Zeus himself must tremble when his satellites he sees
Recurrently admonished in such glossy journalese :
“A touch of colour at the neck will light the teeth when smiling . . .
Your parasol is passé , but your cane is too beguiling . . .
I love a cunning cummerbund ( on folk who boast the figure ) . . .
How devastating that red boots betray big feet as bigger!
A wisp of mauve chiffon , when knotted coyly round the nose
Is guaranteed to turn men’s heads wherever Madam goes . . .
Abhor the neutral anklesock , despise hardwearing tweeds . . .
Tis flair , and not a chequebook , that the soigné woman needs . . .
Distrust the overhandspme youth . . . ” ( Apollo sighs for shame )
:Make your coiffure distinctive . . . ( poor Medusa does the same . )
“Buttercup yellow robes would brighten any convocation . . .
No femme fatale dare once appear without her firm foundation . . .
‘Indeed ,” said Aphrodite when abashed Adonis read it her ,
“It is , it is a charming thing to be a fashion editor . ”

Then up rose Aphrodite and gave comfort to the rest:
“Old fashioned we may well be , but we are not overdressed :
Paris , who praised our beauty , was no easy connoisseur ,
And with the taste of Paris many mortals would concur ,
Who is this Fashion Editor ? What right has she to speak ?
What fiend possesses her to pen this piffle every week ?
I tell you , there are mortals will do much for notoriety ,
And label their acquaintance to give Sidelights on Society :
There is an ancient city , to these mites a kindly mother
Who ever praise themselves and cast aspersions on each other :
She sets no store by garments and she knows no hints on chic
And , fair to all , reserves her praise for quite another clique :
One of her children who alone for boudoir beauty thirsts
May rarely hope to swell the annual dividend of Firsts :
Yet scholars have the best of it for they shall ever find
The arrows of my little son strike don and dandy BLIND.
Heigh-ho, “ said Aphrodite, “ With whatever taste you credit her ,
It is, it is , a pretty thing to be a Fashion Editor , :

Marion G . Jones L . M . H .

Rain swoops on Oxford lik a maddened hawk

Rain swoops on Oxford lik a maddened hawk ,
Swift and relentless as the Pimpernel :
Bleaker than breakers on a barren shore
It vents a pent-up hatred of mankind .
The aesthete yawns , uncoiling from the floor,
Sets down his coffee cup , and draws the blind :
The Fellow pauses in pellucid talk
To pass his pensive guest the muscadet
And beg him to postpone his homeward walk :
The ill-clad sportsman , chewing caramel ,
Feels that he cannot trot a metre more —
‘Mens sane’: let him now improve his mind ;
He scuttles in at Blackwell’s lighted door
Without one long or lingering look behind ,
While a belated don , with anxious stalk
Bears his umbrella along Holywell .

At Folly Bridge the river rushes dank :
Young workers throng the Camera as a hive:
Through swirling rain the tower of St Cross
Suggests a dim and silent sanctuary :
None sit a-sunning , but young lovers meet
(In great discomfort and obscurity)
Beneath the weeping trees on Cherwell bank
Until the gates are shut at half-past five .
Dull grows the day and merry grows the moss
Within this ancient university :
High and serene above the rainswept street
The Caesars glare in classic dignity.

Undated, but surely Autumn term 1948.

Trim rigged and shipshape

Trim rigged and shipshape, sixty winters past

Trim rigged and shipshape, sixty winters past,
The lad slipped cable and stood out to sea:
With tackle torn, strained timbers, broken mast,
He weathers home at last
To that old harbourwhere he longs to be.

Seaman, hold fast your course, though waves run high,
Most pleasant moorings now for you are meant,
When in calm water under cloudless sky,
Your battered ship may lie,
Proudly at anchor, sails furled close, content.