Poem by Ivor Gurney


A View of the Bay in Winter. Henry Martin Gasser (1909-1981)

The Uplands

Heaven blew clear of cloud, the beech
Hung full of stars, still or quaking,
The cold wind shivered my warm touch,
Ice in the white road crackled breaking.

It was an icy night of wonder,
Swift came the flurries of snow’s spite,–
All were asleep; beasts down in under
Depths of earth; safe from such night.

Songs of these hills when most happy
The day was for our Western men–
Sea songs, tunes of war and company–
Beaten by cold, my mouth cried again:

Echoing from the barn walls, Western
Songs fitting such place, racked and rang–
Great stars in their clear pattern
Smote the air with their fire’s clang.

And hiding the minutes from my frozen
Mind–at last came to Birdlip Corner–
Where the far lights of Gloucester showing,
Called me down, between Coopers and Chosen,
Where the lowland air was warmer,
And a fire waited, with tea things, blazing.

~ Ivor Gurney,   (1890–1937)

Ivor Gurney, born in Gloucester, UK, was a composer, poet and wounded WWI veteran. This week’s poem 
was discovered by Peter Anastas of Gloucester, MA. 

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