Muriel Stuart

Muriel Stuart Poems

'I thought you loved me.' 'No, it was only fun.'
'When we stood there, closer than all?' 'Well, the harvest moon
Was shining and queer in your hair, and it turned my head.'
'That made you?' 'Yes.' 'Just the moon and the light it made
...

Here in a quiet and dusty room they lie,
Faded as crumbled stone or shifting sand,
Forlorn as ashes, shrivelled, scentless, dry -
Meadows and gardens running through my hand.
...

Unaware of its terror,
And but half aware
Of the world's beauty near her-
Of sunlight on the stones,
...

4.

TAKE as you will, slake, solace, and possess
While Youth, with laughter, scatters tears that fall
Sudden and shaken sometimes at your call;
Pledge me in passion and in gentleness,--
...

There shall be a song for both of us that day
Though fools say you have long outlived your songs,
And when, perhaps, because your hair is grey,
...

6.

WHEN, on an empty night in later years
Thou ponderest over sorrowful sweet things,
While troubling with cold hands the muted strings
Of Memory's lute now silent in thine ears,
...

Dawn has flashed up the startled skies,
Night has gone out beneath the hill
Many sweet times; before our eyes
Dawn makes and unmakes about us still
...

CHANGE shall accustom me in after years
To kingdom's builded on life's overthrow;
Onward with other poets I shall go,
Unpraised of thee. though praised of all my peers,
...

THE hand of carnival was at my door,
I listened to its knocking, and sped down:
Faith was forgotten, Duty led no more:
I heard a wonton revelry in the town;
...

BELOW, the street was hoarse with cries,
With groan of carts and scuffling feet,
With laughter worse than blasphemies,
Was choked with dust and blind with heat,
...

ASK not my pardon! For if one hath need
Once to forgive the god that he hath raised,
No further creed
Can that god give; but 'neath the soul who praised
...

1.
I am one of the wind's stories,
I am a fancy of the rain,-
A memory of the high noon's glories,
...

IN days of ancient history
Who were you? Tell me if you know.
Between your kisses answer me
To-night, Chicot.
...

14.

Do you remember, Leda?

There are those who love, to whom Love brings
Great gladness: such things have not I.
...

When to your virgin heart, unstirred, ungiven,
Upon the quiet mountainside untrod,
...

FAREWELL is said! Yea, but I cannot take
All that my Greeting gave.
In you hath Hope her doom and Joy her grave;
Still you go crowned with old imaginings,
...

I will not have roses in my room again,
Nor listen to sonnets of Michael Angelo
To-night nor any night, nor fret my brain
...

Chained to the years by the measureless wrong of man,
Here I hang, here I suffer, here I cry,
...

Men wondered why I loved you, and none guessed
How sweet your slow, divine stupidity,
Your look of earth, your sense of drowsy rest,
...

I am growing old: I have kept youth too long,
But I dare not let them know it now.
I have done the heart of youth a grievous wrong,
...

Muriel Stuart Biography

Muriel Stuart (1885, Norbury, South London - 1967) The daughter of a Scottish barrister, was a poet, particularly concerned with the topic of sexual politics, though she first wrote poems about World War I. She later gave up poetry writing; her last work was published in the 1930s. She was born Muriel Stuart Irwin.

She was hailed by Hugh MacDiarmid as the best woman poet of the Scottish Renaissance although she was not Scottish, but English. Despite this, his comment led to her inclusion in many Scottish anthologies. Thomas Hardy described her poetry as "Superlatively good".

Her most famous poem "In the Orchard" is entirely dialogs and in no kind of verse form, which makes it innovative for its time. She does use rhyme: a mixture of half-rhyme and rhyming couplets (a,b,a,b form)

Other famous poems of hers are "The Seed Shop", "The Fools" and "Man and his Makers"

Muriel also wrote a gardeninonbg book called Gardener's Nightcap (1938) which was later reprinted by Persephone Books:.

She died on 18th December 1967.

The Best Poem Of Muriel Stuart

In The Orchard

'I thought you loved me.' 'No, it was only fun.'
'When we stood there, closer than all?' 'Well, the harvest moon
Was shining and queer in your hair, and it turned my head.'
'That made you?' 'Yes.' 'Just the moon and the light it made
Under the tree?' 'Well, your mouth, too.' 'Yes, my mouth?'
'And the quiet there that sang like the drum in the booth.
You shouldn't have danced like that.' 'Like what?' 'So close,
Whith your head turned up, and the flower in your hair, a rose
That smelt all warm.' 'I loved you. I thought you knew
I wouldn't have danced like that with any but you.'
'I didn't know, I thought you knew it was fun.'
'I thought it was love you meant.' 'Well, it's done.' 'Yes, it's done.
I've seen boys stone a blackbird, and watched them drown
A kitten... it clawed at the reeds, and they pushed it down
Into the pool while it screamed. Is that fun, too?'
'Well, boys are like that... Your brothers...' 'Yes, I know.
But you, so lovely and strong! Not you! Not you!'
'They don't understand it's cruel. It's only a game.'
'And are girls fun, too?' 'No, still in a way it's the same.
It's queer and lovely to have a girl...' 'Go on.'
'It makes you mad for a bit to feel she's your own,
And you laugh and kiss her, and maybe you give her a ring,
But it's only in fun.' 'But I gave you everything.'
'Well, you shouldn't have done it. You know what a fellow thinks
When a girl does that.' 'Yes, he talks of her over his drinks
And calles her a--' 'Stop that now, I thought you knew.'
'But it wasn't with anyone else. It was only you.'
'How did I know? I thought you wanted it too.
I thought you were like the rest. Well, what's to be done?'
'To be done' 'Is it all right?' 'Yes.' 'Sure?' 'Yes, but why?'
'I don't know, I thought you where going to cry.
You said you had something to tell me.' 'Yes, I know.
It wasn't anything relly... I think I'll go.'
'Yes, it's late. There's thunder about, a drop of rain
Fell on my hand in the dark. I'll see you again
At the dance next week. You're sure that everything's right?'
'Yes,' 'Well, I'll be going.' 'Kiss me...' 'Good night.' ... 'Good night.'

Muriel Stuart Comments

Michael Shepherd 14 November 2004

Muriel died in 1967.

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