Barely a twelvemonth after
The seven days war that put the world to sleep,
Late in the evening the strange horses came.
By then we had made our covenant with silence,
All through that summer at ease we lay,
And daily from the turret wall
We watched the mowers in the hay
And the enemy half a mile away
O Merlin in your crystal cave
Deep in the diamond of the day,
Will there ever be a singer
Whose music will smooth away
Now the ice lays its smooth claws on the sill,
The sun looks from the hill
Helmed in his winter casket,
And sweeps his arctic sword across the sky.
Edwin Muir was an Orcadian poet, novelist and noted translator. Remembered for his deeply felt and vivid poetry in plain, unostentatious language with few stylistic preoccupations, Muir is a significant modern poet.
Muir was born in Deerness, where his mother was also born, at Hacco, remembered in his autobiography as "Haco ...