Robert Laurence Binyon

(1869-1943 / England)

The Things That Grow - Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon

It was nothing but a little neglected garden,
Laurel--screened, and hushed in a hot stillness;
An old pear--tree, and flowers mingled with weeds.
Yet as I came to it all unawares, it seemed
Charged with mystery; and I stopped, intruding,
Fearful of hurting that so absorbed stillness.
For I was tingling with the wind's salty splendour,
And still my senses moved with the keel's buoyance
Out on the water, where strong light was shivered
Into a dance dazzling as drops of flame.
The rocking radiance and the winged sail's lifting
And the noise of the rush of the water left behind
Sang to my body of movement, victory, joy.
But here the light was asleep, and green, green
In a veined leaf it glowed among the shadows.
A hollyhock rose to the sun and bathed its flowers
Luminously clustered in the unmoving air;
A butterfly lazily winked its gorgeous wings;
Marigolds burned intently amid the grass;
The ripening pears hung each with a rounded shadow:
All beyond was drowned in the indolent blueness;
And at my feet, like a word of an unknown tongue,
Was the midnight--dark bloom of the delicate pansy.
Suddenly these things awed my heart, as if here
In perishing blossom and springing shoot were a power
Greater than shipwrecking winds and all wild waters.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 1, 2010

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