John Freeman

(1880-1929 / England)

O Muse Divine - Poem by John Freeman

O thou, my Muse,
Beside the Kentish River running
Through water-meads where dews
Tossed flashing at thy feet
And tossing flashed again
When the timid herd
By thy swift passing stirred
Up-leapt and ran;

Thou that didst fleet
Thy shadow over dark October hills
By Aston, Weston, Saintbury, Willersey,
Winchcombe, and all the combes and hills
Of the green lonely land;

Thou that in May
Once when I saw thee sunning
Thyself so lovely there
Than the flushed flower more fair
Fallen from the wild apple spray,
Didst rise and sprinkling sunlight with thy hand
Shadow-like disappear in the deep-shadowy hedges
Between forsaken Buckle Street and the sparse sedges
Of young twin-breasted Honeybourne; —

O thou, my Muse,
Scarce longer seen than the brief hues
Of winter cloud that flames
Over the tarnished silver Thames;
So often nearing,
As often disappearing,
With thy body's shadow brushing
My brain at midnight, lightly touching;
O yield thee, Muse, to me,
No more in dream delights and morn forgettings,
But in a ferny hollow I know well
And thou know'st well, warm-proof'd 'gainst the wind's frettings.
… Bring thou thyself, and there
In that warm ferny hollow where the sun
Slants one gold beam and no light else but thine
And my eyes' happy shine —
There, O lovely Muse,
Shall on thy shining body be begot,
Fruit of delights a many mingling in one,
Thy child and mine, a lovely shape and thought;
My child and thine,
O Muse divine!

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Langston Hughes


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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 24, 2010

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