Ivor Gurney

(1890-1937 / England)

The Incense Bearers - Poem by Ivor Gurney

To the London Metropolitan Police
Toward the sun the drenched May-hedges lift
White rounded masses like still ocean drift,
And days fills with heavy scent of that gift.

There is no escaping that full current of thick
Incense; one walks suddenly, one comes quick
Into a flood of odour there, aromatic

Not English, for cleaner, sweeter, is the hot scent that
Is given from hedges, solitary flowers, not
In mass, but lonely odours that scarcely float.

But the incense bearers, soakers of sun's full
Powerfulness; give out floods unchecked, wonderful
Utterance almost, which makes no poet grateful,

Since his love is for single things rarely found,
Or hardly. Violets blooming in remote ground.
One colour, one fragrance, like one uncompanied sound —

Struck upon silence, nothing looked for, hung
As from gold wires: this May incense is swung
Heavy of odour the drenched meadows among.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010



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