Monday, 11 November 2019

Poetry Revisited: November’s Cadence by James Earl of Southesk

November’s Cadence

(from The Burial of Isis and Other Pems: 1884)

The bees about the Linden-tree,
When blithely summer blooms were springing,
Would hum a heartsome melody,
The simple baby-soul of singing:
And thus my spirit sang to me
When youth its wanton way was winging;
          ‘Be glad, be sad —thou hast the choice—
          But mingle music with thy voice.’

The linnets on the Linden-tree,
Among the leaves in autumn dying,
Are making gentle melody,
A mild, mysterious, mournful sighing:
And thus my spirit sings to me
While years are flying, flying, flying;
          ‘Be sad, be sad —thou hast no choice—
          But mourn with music in thy voice.’

James Earl of Southesk (1827-1905)
Scottish nobleman, explorer and poet

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