Edwin Muir

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

The Castle - Poem by Edwin Muir

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
They seemed no threat to us at all.

For what, we thought, had we to fear
With our arms and provender, load on load,
Our towering battlements, tier on tier,
And friendly allies drawing near
On every leafy summer road.

Our gates were strong, our walls were thick,
So smooth and high, no man could win
A foothold there, no clever trick
Could take us, have us dead or quick.
Only a bird could have got in.

What could they offer us for bait?
Our captain was brave and we were true....
There was a little private gate,
A little wicked wicket gate.
The wizened warder let them through.

Oh then our maze of tunneled stone
Grew thin and treacherous as air.
The cause was lost without a groan,
The famous citadel overthrown,
And all its secret galleries bare.

How can this shameful tale be told?
I will maintain until my death
We could do nothing, being sold;
Our only enemy was gold,
And we had no arms to fight it with.


Comments about The Castle by Edwin Muir

  • Glen Kappy (8/20/2017 3:24:00 PM)


    And so so much in this world is sold. -GK (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Anil Kumar Panda (8/20/2017 10:53:00 AM)


    This nice poetry. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (8/20/2017 7:04:00 AM)


    I am of the view that this poem is a good example of why rhyming stanzas should not be used. (Report) Reply

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (8/20/2017 3:04:00 AM)


    We could do nothing, being sold;
    Our only enemy was gold,
    And we had no arms to fight it with.
    It is a great poem showing your artistic skills.
    10 for the sharing of the poem.
    (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (8/20/2017 2:31:00 AM)


    Such an interesting piece of poetry...... thank you so much for sharing.... (Report) Reply

  • Liza Sudina (8/20/2017 1:49:00 AM)


    Our only enemy was gold.
    And probably someone's passion to it.
    (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (8/20/2017 1:27:00 AM)


    At ease we lay! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: summer, fear, lost, death



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



[Report Error]