Edmund Blunden

(1 November 1896 – 20 January 1974 / London / England)

The Giant Puff-Ball


From what sad star I know not, but I found
Myself new-born below the coppice rail,
No bigger than the dewdrops and as round,
In a soft sward, no cattle might assail.

And so I gathered mightiness and grew
With this one dream kindling in me, that I
Should never cease from conquering light and dew
Till my white splendour touched the trembling sky.

A century of blue and stilly light
Bowed down before me, the dew came again,
The moon my sibyl worshipped through the night,
The sun returned and long abode; but then

Hoarse drooping darkness hung me with a shroud
And switched at me with shrivelled leaves in scorn.
Red morning stole beneath a grinning cloud,
And suddenly clambering over dike and thorn

A half-moon host of churls with flags and sticks
Hallooed and hurtled up the partridge brood,
And Death clapped hands from all the echoing thicks,
And trampling envy spied me where I stood;

Who haled me tired and quaking, hid me by,
And came again after an age of cold,
And hung me in the prison-house adry
From the great crossbeam. Here defiled and old

I perish through unnumbered hours, I swoon,
Hacked with harsh knives to staunch a child's torn hand;
And all my hopes must with my body soon
Be but as crouching dust and wind-blown sand.

Submitted: Saturday, April 03, 2010

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