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VI. Autumn Song
Now the leaves are falling fast,
Nurse’s flowers will not last,
Nurses to their graves are gone,
But the prams go rolling on.
Whispering neighbors left and right
Daunt us from our true delight,
Able hands are forced to freeze
Derelict on lonely knees.
Close behind us on our track,
Dead in hundreds cry Alack,
Arms raised stiffly to reprove
In false attitudes of love.
Scrawny through a plundered wood,
Trolls run scolding for their food,
Owl and nightingale are dumb,
And the angel will not come.
Clear, unscalable, ahead
Rise the Mountains of Instead,
From whose cold, cascading streams
None may drink except in dreams.
A poem taken from the series Twelve Songs by W H Auden
A loving message to my mother, Maxine Sturdy
2 Terms, Gentle Mum
Is it really on to say that loveliness has won the day
If too much dreadful stuff occurs? I'd think it all rather absurd
If all is sorrow, horror, grief, dry one's tears, grit one's teeth
No one's even, all is odd, nothing save the fear of God
As spirits sank to sub zero; sad nadir reached, grim all-time low
Remember mum's love will never cease; son all thankful, on bended knees
Set out sturdy, kept going strong, cheerful laugh and sung a song.
Her life cut short, felt incomplete as an unripened sheaf of wheat.
Pub's now shut, landlord's rung time, wenn man fragt, sagt er 'nein'.
No beer, cigar or sugared tea, GP's max vino per day, 50cc;
Slowed down, becalmed, not very well, once Big C defiled a cell,
Maxi, I mourn a mother dear and so ends now another year