(11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930 / Nottinghamshire / England)

A Passing Bell

Mournfully to and fro, to and fro the trees are waving;
What did you say, my dear?
The rain-bruised leaves are suddenly shaken, as a child
Asleep still shakes in the clutch of a sob—
Yes, my love, I hear.

One lonely bell, one only, the storm-tossed afternoon is braving,
Why not let it ring?
The roses lean down when they hear it, the tender, mild
Flowers of the bleeding-heart fall to the throb—
It is such a little thing!

A wet bird walks on the lawn, call to the boy to come and look,
Yes, it is over now.
Call to him out of the silence, call him to see
The starling shaking its head as it walks in the grass—
Ah, who knows how?

He cannot see it, I can never show it him, how it shook—
Don’t disturb him, darling.
—Its head as it walked: I can never call him to me,
Never, he is not, whatever shall come to pass.
No, look at the wet starling.

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Comments (3)

The roses lean down when they hear it, the tender, mild Flowers of the bleeding-heart fall to the throb— It is such a little thing! great expressions my dear poet. tony
Never, he is not, whatever shall come to pass. No, look at the wet starling.......touching concluding. Beautiful poem.
Mournfully the trees are waving... and birds and life shaking in rain, a pathetic picture it paints on rain, very touching, but I wonder how the same scenario would have been drawn in places where rains are so welcome, even by the birds..