Muir Holburn - Selected Poems

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Go easy, Time, learn how to hesitate;

Study a supple, flexible technique.

For we the sensitive, the trampled ones,

See a frail bluff, dry eyed futility

In this your striding arrogance. Recall

You were the midwife at the anguished birth

Of skyhigh cultures, dreamed with the crystal forms

Of minor elegances. Whipped up the blood

In soldier’s limbs and lady’s vibrant lips.

Agreed you’ve walked chief mourner, sung the dirge

Of high magnificence. All this is known.

But tremulous birth and melancholic death

Are symptoms of the dead romantic way.

And you are older now with ages wisdom.

In this, the focal summer of your life,

Acquire poise and subtlety. Are you

In last analyses no better now

Than any starched Victorian papa,

with gaze myopic and repellent paunch?

Unable even to evaluate

The blacks and whites of passion and desire,

With Gladstones packed with circumstantial lies,

Ignorant of the colour of your children’s eyes?







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