Page:Some soldier poets.djvu/74

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
SOME SOLDIER POETS

series of delights over detail, grouped more or less as in nature by locality and season, yet rarely, if ever, shaped into a poetic whole. Ledwidge's verse stores details too, but they are less varied and less realistic, though better transmuted by his moods, for he is moved even more by the image that caps the perception than by the thing perceived. As a poet, at least, he too lived in a dream not yet articulated by reason and purpose. And one is tempted, though one has no right, to suppose that his life also may have had something of the ineffectual simplicity of John Clare's. His rhymes are related to those of Mr Yeats and the minor Irish poets of to-day, as Clare's were to Keats', Wordsworth's and Cowper's, and I think this is all that can be really meant when he has been praised for style. Irish work may often seem to have more style than English, even when it is far weaker in the fundamental qualities of great literature. Dominant moods give it a singleness and independence of outlook which condones the absence of complexity in emotion and of balance in intellectual grasp.


THE SISTER

I SAW the little quiet town,
And the whitewashed gables on the hill.
And laughing children coming down
The lane way to the mill.

Wind-blushes up their faces glowed,
And they were happy as could be.
The wobbling water never flowed
So merry and so free.

One little maid withdrew aside
To pick a pebble from the sands.
Her golden hair was long and wide,

And there were dimples on her hands.

70