Edwin Muir

(15 May 1887 – 3 January 1959 / Orkney / Scotland)

Merlin


O Merlin in your crystal cave
Deep in the diamond of the day,
Will there ever be a singer
Whose music will smooth away
The furrow drawn by Adam's finger
Across the memory and the wave?
Or a runner who'll outrun
Man's long shadow driving on,
Break through the gate of memory
And hang the apple on the tree?
Will your magic ever show
The sleeping bride shut in her bower,
The day wreathed in its mound of snow
and Time locked in his tower?

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Jan Dean (5/12/2008 3:25:00 AM)

    The opening lines of this poem are so resonant and memorable that on hot clear days they automatically come to mind. The sense of the mythic - of a memory unimaginably long - echoes through the poem along with a deep sense of longing and loss. It is an elegy for lost worlds and kingdoms and at the same time contains the idea of their impossibility. A wonderfully evocative poem, musical, sad and sweet. (Report) Reply

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