(1895 - 1985 / London / England)

Love Without Hope

Love without hope, as when the young bird-catcher
Swept off his tall hat to the Squire's own daughter,
So let the imprisoned larks escape and fly
Singing about her head, as she rode by.

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Comments (3)

Love without hope, as when the young bird-catcher Swept off his tall hat to the Squire's own daughter, So let the imprisoned larks escape and fly Singing about her head, as she rode by.
I saw this poem 35 years ago, written up on the chalkboard of a school in which I was teaching English lit. It has haunted my imagination ever since despite not knowing its authorship until today. With great economy, it establishes a vivid roadside scene which one can dress in the imagination with all the detail, and even character positioning, of an incident in a colour film screenplay. That it can also evoke all the injustice of social-class and manmade barriers to fulfillment as well as the hopelessness of unattainable, unrequited love, is truly remarkable.
Oh my! What an image!