I’m but an ailing poet,
I cannot keep it secret:
My voice grows faint for her fair face
Who’s gone chase flibbertigibbet.
And now, no lad’s so simple
Or lusty cheery damsel
But’s glad enough to joke and pick
And hand me a stick of hazel.
In Gwaun y Plu I’ll gather
And plant each stick together;
If you can trust an old wive’s tale
The twigs can’t fail to prosper.
And when the nuts shall ripen
And the birds sing their burden,
Fairer than fair she’ll come therein
Like a linnet in my garden.
And there, there’ll be no coupling
Of art in my new dwelling –
Only the birdsong, sweet on the bud,
And gentle greenwood growing.
And there I’ll be desiring
A bed, in shelter hiding,
To have, O lovely form, with her
A skilful, tender loving.
by Saldri Powel
Once it was the colour of saying
Soaked my table the uglier side of a hill
With a capsized field where a school sat still
And a black and white patch of girls grew playing;
The gentle seaslides of saying I must undo
That all the charmingly drowned arise to cockcrow and kill.
When I whistled with mitching boys through a reservoir park
Where at night we stoned the cold and cuckoo
Lovers in the dirt of their leafy beds,
The shade of their trees was a word of many shades
And a lamp of lightning for the poor in the dark;
Now my saying shall be my undoing,
And every stone I wind off like a reel.
by Dylan Thomas
Fun Facts: ‘Mitching’ is Skivving, bunking, skipping school.
Out of the sighs a little comes,
But not of grief, for I have knocked down that
Before the agony; the spirit grows,
Forgets, and cries;
A little comes, is tasted and found good;
All could not disappoint;
There must, be praised, some certainty,
If not of loving well, then not,
And that is true after perpetual defeat.
After such fighting as the weakest know,
There’s more than dying;
Lose the great pains or stuff the wound,
He’ll ache too long
Through no regret of leaving woman waiting
For her soldier stained with spilt words
That spill such acrid blood.
Were that enough, enough to ease the pain,
Feeling regret when this is wasted
That made me happy in the sun,
And, sleeping, made me dream
How much was happy while it lasted,
Were vagueness enough and the sweet lies plenty,
The hollow words could bear all suffering
And cure me of ills.
Were that enough, bone, blood, and sinew,
The twisted brain, the fair-formed loin,
Groping for matter under the dog’s plate,
Man should be cured of distemper.
For all there is to give I offer:
Crumbs, barn, and halter.
by Dylan Thomas