Edwin Muir

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

Merlin - Poem by Edwin Muir

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?

Comments about Merlin by Edwin Muir

  • Susan Williams (10/3/2015 1:34:00 PM)

    Just the name of Merlin evokes magic, enchantment, hell-born sorcery dark and evil, Merlin's sorcery fighting valiantly for good. But even he cannot sing enchantments to redirect the history and fate of mankind begun at the garden of Eden. (Report) Reply

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  • Seema Jayaraman (10/3/2015 12:52:00 PM)

    luv to read stories of Merlin, how he pops up unexpected even in poems to weave his magik.. (Report) Reply

  • (10/3/2015 8:40:00 AM)

    Love the alliteration in the second line and the crystal and diamond transport me to Merlin's cave, filled with clinging bottles and glass that hag from the ceiling. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (10/3/2015 7:31:00 AM)

    Great questions even Merlin the magician can't change ever in the world! (Report) Reply

  • (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

    Mark Shipley (12/14/2017 4:31:00 PM)

    Jan Dean. Your comment is, itself, a poem. Well done.

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Read poems about / on: memory, magic, snow, music, tree, time, sleep

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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