by A C Aitken 1927
The winds in the hedges moan,
The road lies deep in pools of rain,
The dripping mists close in again
As I walk the roads alone.
As I walk with down-bent head
I watch the road change ceaselessly,
Of many another reminding me
I have trodden, and yet may tread.
For now under white-hot skies
It is burning sand in the tropic noon,
Where mirrored in the false lagoon
An eastern city lies.
Through poplared Picardy,
One of the destined marching host,
I see by my comrade's side a ghost,
But his eyes are not on me.
And now for many a mile
Deep in the mazy forest gloom
I tread the blood-red rata bloom
In lonely Stewart Lsle.
Ever the road beneath
Changes: now night begins to fall,
And I see the last long road of all,
The road to dusty death.
CANOPUS IN ARGO
by A C Aitken
The sky is a sea tonight; the moon's white prow
Plunges amid the cloudy waves and shakes
A silver spray afar: now clear she breaks
From close pursuing surge, draws free, and now
Sails into white translucencies where, deep
Beyond all sounding, fish ethereal sleep:
Now threads a mottled archipelago
Of wandering isles that merge and melt and flow.
Late in the silent dark, from sleepless bed
I watch, and am aware of inward seas
Now halcyon calm, that once were overspread
With fire and tempest: there in tranquil ease
White Argo glides, safe to have fled
Whirlpool and reef, and the Symplegades.
by A C Aitken St Andrews, 1955
Across the air
Floats the blue butterfly
As if a cranesbill flower
Had taken wings:
Three meadow-brooms entwine
Their flight, the willow
And the questing willow-warbler
Sway together: mimulus is here
And meadowsweet, and ragged robin,
Kestrel hovering above;
And time is told
But by the shimmer of the unquiet leaves
And by my sense that once,
In aeons past I saw the scene
Not solitary, under other skies
And by another sea.
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