Muir Holburn - Selected Poems

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AGE GROUP, 1922.





Never was earth so predatory. Never

Did perched loan gaze so greedily upon

This bravest vilest last of man’s endeavour.


Rarely so swift and gladly have they gone

To sate that monstrous craving. As in dreams

They lived, with wrinkled shadows, loveless and wan.


So to the youngest one departure seems

Providential, for traffic has bruised his ears,

And vast adventure hushes and redeems.


Lured thus outwards, memories and fears

And secret questionings are numbed. The sky

Explodes to ghastly life. Whilst coastscape leers,


Impatient mountains squint and belch and sigh.

Wrecked plains heave up cracked lips and stale hot dust

The boys at points unknown are eager and shy.


Innocent seem this valley and this crust

Of languorous ridges, densely unsoiled the blue.

Yet under sod and rock stirs that great lust


Of arid subsoil, thirsting for young men who

Breathed their first breath in nineteen twenty two.


January, mcmxliii







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