John Crowe Ransom


Emily Hardcastle, Spinster

We shall come tomorrow morning, who were not to have her love,
We shall bring no face of envy but a gift of praise and lilies
To the stately ceremonial we are not the heroes of.

Let the sisters now attend her, who are red-eyed, who are wroth;
They were younger, she was finer, for they wearied of the waiting
And they married them to merchants, being unbelievers both.

Poets Have Chanted Mortality

It had better been hidden
But the Poets inform:
We are chattel and liege
Of an undying Worm.

Were you, Will, disheartened,
When all Stratford’ s gentry
Left their Queen and took service
In his low-lying country?

How many white cities
And grey fleets on the storm
Have proud-builded, hard-battled,
For this undying Worm?

Winter Remembered

Two evils, monstrous either one apart,
Possessed me, and were long and loath at going:
A cry of Absence, Absence, in the heart,
And in the wood the furious winter blowing.

Think not, when fire was bright upon my bricks,
And past the tight boards hardly a wind could enter,
I glowed like them, the simple burning sticks,
Far from my cause, my proper heat and center.