Blown from these Mountains

The sun-gilt phalluses of Kings

sprout in the early morning air,

life renews la ronde KP,

spring crocuses wear waist coats now

and innocently the bright tongues wag

preparing for the holiday.


So sweet this southern English cult

of serious nonchalance, disarming air

and soughing voice in cultivated pines.

My wind has blown from your mountains.

My leaves are of good pedigree.

Have you tasted the figs of Apollo?


Come, let us to the festival!

They crown the goddesses today

in the spacious court of Trinity.

O great sires and dams

John Bull out of hypocrisy.


Lift your voices

( Song of Praise - one five one )

dance your ditty in stentorian array,

raise the tower and Byron's bear

this is the swallows' mating day


Oh Inglisi - lift your loincloths. Shout and dance.

Our smoke rises to your altars.

Ashes of hockey sticks,

enormous cricket bats and oval balls,

strips of horses arse are fried on the ends of cast iron oars.


See the gentle smoke

coiling upward in the month of May,

merridown for fuel

and a cart of foeted hay.


Oh look ! Hurrah !

A porter's hat like a pot

hangs awry on a pinnacle of Johns.

My wind has blown from these mountains.


For myself now in the cool of the day

a small and empty shrine in the courts of Accidie.


Cambridge      2 May 1955