Post more comments

James Brunton Stephens

(17 June 1835 – 29 June 1902 / Borrowstounness, on the Firth of Forth, Scotland;)

From an Upper Verandah


What happier haunt could the gods allot
For loftiest musing to sage or bard?—
Yet I would that this upper verandah did not
Look down on my beautiful Neighbour's Back-yard!

I stir the afflatus: Descend, O ye Nine!
Let the crystalline gates of the soul be unbarred!
No. My thoughts will keep running in one fixed line—
The clothes-line that hangs in my Neighbour's Back-yard!

Let me gaze on the hills; let me think of the sea;
Of the dawn rosy-fingered—the night silver-starred:—
(What dear little feet must the owner's be
Of those stockings that hang in my Neighbour's Back-yard!)

Let me tune my soul to a measure devout:—
Ah, the musical mood is all jangled and jarred,
While things with borders, and things without,
Keep flutt'ring down there in my Neighbour's Back-yard!

Are the True and the Good and the Beautiful dead,
That I win not one gleam of Pierian regard?
(Does she suffer, I wonder, from cold in the head?—
Such a lot of mouchoirs in my Neighbour's Back-yard!)

Comes the fit. While it sways me, high themes would I sing!
Prometheus! Achilles! Have at you! En grade!
Alexander the Great—(oh that I were a string
On that apron hung out in my Neighbour's Back-yard!)

I will shut my eyes fast—I have hit it at last,
Now my purest Ideals flit by me unmarred;
And odours of memory rise from the past,
(And an odour of suds from my Neighbour's Back-yard!)

Ah, yes! when the eyelids together are prest,
Every vestige of earth we throw off and discard.
(These are flannels, I think. Is she weak in the chest?—
There! I'm looking again at my Neighbour's Back-yard!)
Since the Muses back out, let Philosophy in:
Let me ponder its problems cold and hard.
Ah! Philosophy dies in a celibate grin
At that bolster-case down in my Neighbour's Back-yard!

Oh shame on my rapidly silvering hairs!
Oh shame on this veteran battered and scarred!

I to be witched with these frilled—affairs!
Confound my neighbour! Confound her Back-yard!

Why seek for the blossoms of Auld Lang Syne,
When the boughs where they budded are blasted and charred?—
Faugh! the whole concern's too alkaline—
It's washing day in my Neighbour's Back-yard!

Submitted: Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (From an Upper Verandah by James Brunton Stephens )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Children of the Night, Maverick Jones
  2. PESSIMISM VERSUS OPTIMISM التشاؤم ضد الت.., MOHAMMAD SKATI
  3. NIGERIA OF MY DREAM 7, john chizoba vincent
  4. The tin box, Sagarika Julka
  5. Strong Woman, Lilly Emery
  6. Am I doing fine?, Sagarika Julka
  7. The Willow Tree, Lara A. Aqrawi
  8. Not Slowing Down, Maverick Jones
  9. NIGERIA OF MY DREAM 6, john chizoba vincent
  10. NIGERIA OF MY DREAM 5, john chizoba vincent

Poem of the Day

poet Robert Browning

After
by Robert Browning

Take the cloak from his face, and at first
Let the corpse do its worst!

How he lies in his rights of a man!
Death has done all death can.
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]