Poems by John Frederick Freeman

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Distance no grace can lend you, but for me
Against the cold pale sky
Hateful it seems now, yet was I not happy?
Do not, O do not use me
I did not say, "Yes, we had better part
Now pipe no more, glad Shepherd,
They loiter round the Dock that holds yon Ship
Hear me, O beeches! You
I rose up with the sun
Bring your beauty, bring your laughter, bring even your fears,
I know how fire burns,
Just as this wood, cast on the snaky fire,
A late and lonely figure stains the snow,
Come over, come over the deepening river,
Most comfortable Light,
When first Love came, then was I but a boy
Thou shaking thy dark shadows down,
Winter is fallen
Beauty walked over the hills and made them bright.
What is the soul? Is it the wind
She stands like one with mazy cares distraught.
O that I were
Nought is but beauty weareth, near and far,
A winter sky of pale blue and pale gold,
So fair, that all the morning aches
Fair Eve, as fair and still
Surely I must have ailed
There was a child that screamed,
I
O linger late, poor yellow whispering leaves!
Now the trees rest: the moon has taught them sleep,
Is it because Spring now is come
Happy are they whom men and women love,
O cover me, long gentle grasses,
"Hallo, hallo!" impatiently he cried,
Your hands, your hands,
I have found happiness who looked not for it.
Bugle and battle-cry are still,
There is not anything more wonderful
"----He still'd
Sleep, sleep, you great and dim trees, sleeping on
Because the earth is vast and dark
When I came home from wanderings
I have never loved you yet, if now I love.
I heard a voice upon the window beat
I will ask primrose and violet to spend for you
To make a fairer,
In that dark silent hour
The birds return,
In those old days you were called beautiful,
Young as the Spring seemed life when she
It was the lovely moon--she lifted
When through our bodies our two spirits burn
From far-off it came near
The rain beat on me as I walked,
A gray day and quiet,
Let Honour speak, for only Honour can
You were a gipsy as you bent
There is a place of grass
How green and strange the light is,
Ah, bird singing late in the gloam
The wild October sky
There is a garden where the seeded stems of thin long grass are bowed
The noisy fire,
Music comes
Thy hand my hand,
I
Unconscious on thy lap I lay,
Let me not see your grief!
Than these November skies
Flesh and blood, bone and skin,
O hide me in Thy love, secure
The fire burns low
So! the fierce acid licks the silver clean,
Let no tears fall
When man first walked upright and soberly
I
Yet when I am alone my eyes say, Come.
If ever Thou didst love me, love me now,
I
The red sun stared unwinking at the East
If thou hast grief
Where are you going with eyes so dull,
It is here--the lime-tree in the garden path,
Merrily shouted all the sailors
O, what insect is it
The shadow of the lantern on the wall,
Not a dream brush your sleep,
The sea
They stood like men that hear immortal speech
Now the long-bearded chilly-fingered winter
I came to you quietly when you were lying
The naked stars, deep beyond deep,
Stay, thou desired one, stay!
Last night a sword-light in the sky
Small yellow stones
The wind fought with the angry trees.
I heard a boy that climbed up Dover's Hill
Bind up, bind up your dark bright hair
So many were there talking that I heard
It stands there
The wind has thrown
How near I walked to Love,
O, my feet have worn a track
The undecaying yew has shed his flowers
The dead white on the fields' dead white
When I had dreamed and dreamed what woman's beauty was,
All the night through I drank
Away, away--
Is it the wind that stirs the trees,
Time like a cloud
Like the tide--knocking at the hollowed cliff
The chair was made
It covered all
Cherry and pear are white,
Love me not less
I could not love if my thought loved not too,
Why dost thou, darksome Nightingale,
The angry wind
Like one who runs
Rose-bosom'd and rose-limb'd
From that warm height and pure,
Near the house flowed, or paused, the black Canal,
That is the earliest thing that I remember--
It was a night of smell and dew
In the hush of early even
Now speaks the wave, whispering me of you;
Your face has lost
Fair Trees, O keep from chattering so
The holy mountains,
Far off a lonely hound
At evening when the aspens rustled soft
He stands on the kerb
I am a river flowing round your hill,
In a great western wind we climbed the hill
It was a day
The lamp shone golden where she slept,
For the last time,
O gone are now those eager great glad days of days, but I remember
That lime tree on the distant rising ground
O come you down from the far hills
Standing close by you
Where is that country? The unresting mind
Beneath the trees with heedful step and slow
That other house, in the same crowded street,
She comes when I am grieving and doth say,
The pigeons, following the faint warm light,
Gray were the rushes
On the wide fields the water gleams like snow,
I heard the rumbling guns. I saw the smoke,
How could I know, how could I guess
I saw him as he went
Thinking of these, of beautiful brief things,
Clear from the deep sky pours the moon
The tall slaves bow if that capricious King
Loose me and let me go!
(11th November, 1918)
And now, while the dark vast earth shakes and rocks
Marlboro' and Waterloo and Trafalgar,
It was like floating in a blessed dream to roam
The days of these two years like busy ants
Singeth the Thrush, forgetting she is dead....
They were like dreams that in a drowsy hour
Oh, like a tree
In thin clear light unshadowed shapes go by
Winter was weary. All his snows were failing--
Here in the shade of the tree
For so long and so long had I forgot,
Between the beechen hill and the green down
I reached the cottage. I knew it from the card
Frost in the air and music in the air,
The joyous morning ran and kissed the grass
Over the pool of sleep
Weave cunningly the web
In these green fields, in this green spring,
That you might happier be than all the rest,
Within the greenhouse dim and damp
The moon gave no light.
Thy hill leave not, O Spring,
When the south-west wind came
No foreign tribute from a stranger-hand,
When this burning flesh
They talked of old campaigns, nineteen-fourteen
Under the linden branches
Gentle as the air that kisses
I have seen that which sweeter is
Rich in the waning light she sat
Lying beneath a hundred seas of sleep
Walking at eve I met a little child
I can recall the day
The clouds no more are flocking
Wild heart, wild heart,
Came the same cuckoo's cry
Why, mourner, do you mourn, nor see
Following upon the faint wind's fickle courses
You that were
From Swindon out to White Horse Hill

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