Posted by Admin on 1 February 2009, 12:00 am

When poets through the ages all have sung
of changing seasons, what remains that will
not echo Virgil or Theocritus, or parody
Will Shakespeare, Spenser – imitate
The Land by Vita Sackville-West?

What can be said that now will bear
comparison with Belleau’s eulogistic verses to
the Spring?

Yet, notwithstanding diffidence to strive
where better pens have striven, thoughts occur
how Age, say three and seventy, more conscious of
mortality, and willing Time’s deceleration through
each quadripartite phase, with joy perceives,
perhaps with quickened senses, harmonies
in common things which Youth, impatient for
superlatives, was apt to overlook.

In Spring, bemused by perfumed may, it revels when
the stitchwort spreads a blanchéd bridal veil
where leaves and grasses span the spectrum of
viridity, where too wild chervil flaunts
its lacy umbels, and the purple ale-hoof hides.

Comes Summer, then imagination plays its part –
transformed, the cornfield cohorts, Midas-touched,
with flourished spears salute the Sun.

Then Autumn’s shining berries, sable-hued
and bramble-born. Invite reluctant aged hands
to plunder Nature’s bounty as they did of yore,
and fill a basket to the brim – the while a miracle,
chromatic metamorphosis in sylvan parts,
whose viridescence to inaurate medleys turns –
citron, saffron, tangerine, aflame with febrile red.

And even Winter, congruous yet cruel to
the old (to whom the winds feel colder with
each passing year), reveals its beauty to
appreciative eyes – displays its snowscapes and
its hedgerows outlined sharp with frost,
or, in a blizzard’s aftermath, a crystalline
encapsulation shows, which there in icy and
in short-lived loveliness must symbolise, alas,
the transience of all.

T. C. Hudson.

© T. C. Hudson.

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