Poems by John Betjeman

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The sleepy sound of a tea-time tide
The gas was on in the Institute,
Miss J.Hunter Dunn, Miss J.Hunter Dunn,
The Advent wind begins to stir
High dormers are rising
Cocooned in Time, at this inhuman height,
From the geyser ventilators
The bells of waiting Advent ring,
Those moments, tasted once and never done,
Bird-watching colonels on the old sea wall,
She died in the upstairs bedroom
The heavy mahogany door with its wrought-iron screen
Here among long-discarded cassocks,
Was it worth keeping the Halt open,
I am a young executive. No cuffs than mine are cleaner;
With one consuming roar along the shingle
This is the time of day when we in the Mens' ward
The clock is frozen in the tower,
When melancholy Autumn comes to Wembley
Phone for the fish knives, Norman
"Let us not speak, for the love we bear one another—
Let me take this other glove off
Encase your legs in nylons,
Bells are booming down the bohreens,
Isn't she lovely, "the Mistress"?
The last year's leaves are on the beech:
A man on his own in a car
Gaily into Ruislip Gardens
The first-class brains of a senior civil servant
Kind o’er the kinderbank leans my Myfanwy,
The kind old face, the egg-shaped head,
The train at Pershore station was waiting that Sunday night
How straight it flew, how long it flew,
Oh would I could subdue the flesh
Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
From Bermondsey to Wandsworth
I walked into the night-club in the morning;
At the end of a long-walled garden in a red provincial town,
The flag that hung half-mast today
Golden haired and golden hearted
I made hay while the sun shone.
In the licorice fields at Pontefract
The sort of girl I like to see
Cut down that timber! Bells, too many and strong,
We used to picnic where the thrift
Up the ash tree climbs the ivy,
Across the wet November night
Hark, I hear the bells of Westgate,
The three men coming down the winter hill
The sea runs back against itself

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