The Sun Has Long Been Set

The sun has long been set,
The stars are out by twos and threes,
The little birds are piping yet
Among the bushes and the trees;
There's a cuckoo, and one or two thrushes,
And a far-off wind that rushes,
And a sound of water that gushes,
And the cuckoo's sovereign cry
Fills all the hollow of the sky.
Who would go `parading'
In London, `and masquerading',
On such a night of June
With that beautiful soft half-moon,
And all these innocent blisses?
On such a night as this is!


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The Spring

Now that the winter's gone, the earth hath lost
Her snow-white robes, and now no more the frost
Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream
Upon the silver lake or crystal stream;
But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,
And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth
To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree
The drowsy cuckoo and the humble-bee.
Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring
In triumph to the world the youthful spring.
The valleys, hills, and woods in rich array


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The Solution

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?


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The Simple Truth

I bought a dollar and a half's worth of small red potatoes,
took them home, boiled them in their jackets
and ate them for dinner with a little butter and salt.
Then I walked through the dried fields
on the edge of town. In middle June the light
hung on in the dark furrows at my feet,
and in the mountain oaks overhead the birds
were gathering for the night, the jays and mockers
squawking back and forth, the finches still darting
into the dusty light. The woman who sold me
the potatoes was from Poland; she was someone


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The Roman Centurion's Song

Roman Occupation of Britain, A.D. 300


Legate, I had the news last night --my cohort ordered home
By ships to Portus Itius and thence by road to Rome.
I've marched the companies aboard, the arms are stowed below:
Now let another take my sword. Command me not to go!

I've served in Britain forty years, from Vectis to the Wall,
I have none other home than this, nor any life at all.
Last night I did not understand, but, now the hour draws near
That calls me to my native land, I feel that land is here.


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The Rover's Adieu

weary lot is thine, fair maid,
A weary lot is thine!
To pull the thorn thy brow to braid,
And press the rue for wine.
A lightsome eye, a soldier's mien,
A feather of the blue,
A doublet of the Lincoln green—
No more of me ye knew,
My Love!
No more of me ye knew.
'This morn is merry June, I trow,
The rose is budding fain;
But she shall bloom in winter snow
Ere we two meet again.'
—He turn'd his charger as he spake
Upon the river shore,
He gave the bridle-reins a shake,


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The Return to Nature

(I) PROMETHEUS 1-
IT was the south : mid-everything,
-
Mid-land, mid-summer, noon ;
-
And deep within a limpid spring
-
The mirrored sun of June.

-
Splendour in freshness ! Ah, who stole
-
This sun, this fire, from heaven?
-
He holds it shining in his soul,
-
Prometheus the forgiven.


(II) THETIS2-
In her bright title poets dare
-
What the wild eye of fancy sees --
-
Similitude -- the clear, the fair
-


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The Reeds of Runnymede

Magna Charta, June 15, 1215


At Runnymede, At Runnymede,
What say the reeds at Runnymede?
The lissom reeds that give and take,
That bend so far, but never break,
They keep the sleepy Thames awake
With tales of John at Runnymede.

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
Oh, hear the reeds at Runnymede:--
"You mustn't sell, delay, deny,
A freeman's right or liberty.
It makes the stubborn Englishry,
We saw 'em roused at Runnymede!

"When through our ranks the Barons came,


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The Queen's Jubilee Celebrations

'Twas in the year of 1897, and on the 22nd of June,
Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee in London caused a great boom;
Because high and low came from afar to see,
The grand celebrations at Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.

People were there from almost every foreign land,
Which made the scene really imposing and grand;
Especially the Queen's carriage, drawn by eight coloured bays,
And when the spectators saw it joyous shouts they did raise.

Oh! if was a most gorgeous sight to be seen,


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The Peasent's Confession

"Si le maréchal Grouchy avait été rejoint par l'officier que
Napoléon lui avait expédié la veille à dix heures du soir, toute
question eût disparu. Mais cet officier n'était point parvenu à sa
destination, ainsi que le maréchal n'a cessé de l'affirmer toute sa
vie, et il faut l'en croire, car autrement il n'aurait eu aucune
raison pour hésiter. Cet officier avait-il été pris? avait-il passé à
l'ennemi? C'est ce qu'on a toujours ignoré."
--Thiers: Histoire de l'Empire. "Waterloo."


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