Edward Dowden

(3 May 1843 - 4 April 1913 / Co. Cork / Ireland)

In the Cathedral Close


IN the Dean's porch a nest of clay
With five small tentants may be seen;
Five solemn faces, each as wise
As if its owner were a Dean.

Five downy fledglings in a row,
Packed close, as in the antique pew
The school-girls are whose foreheads clear
At the Venite shine on you.

Day after day the swallows sit
With scarce a stir, with scarce a sound,
But dreaming and digesting much
They grow thus wise and soft and round:

They watch the Canons come to dine,
And hear, the mullion-bars across,
Over the fragrant fruit and wine
Deep talk of rood-screen and reredos.

Her hands with field-flowers drenched, a child
Leaps past in wind-blown dress and hair,
The swallows turn their heads askew --
Five judges deem that she is fair.

Prelusive touches sound within,
Straightway they recognise the sign,
And, blandly nodding, they approve
The minuet of Rubinstein.

They mark the cousins' schoolboy talk,
(Male birds flown wide from minster bell),
And blink at each broad term of art,
Binomial or bicycle.

Ah! downy soft ones, soft and warm,
Doth such a stillness mask from sight
Such swiftness? can such peace conceal
Passion and ecstasy of flight?

Yet somewhere 'mid your Easter suns,
Under a white Greek architrave
At morn, or when the shaft of fire
Lies large upon the Indian wave,

A sense of something dear gone by
Will stir, strange longings thrill the heart
For a small world embowered close,
Of which ye sometime were a part.

The dew-drenched flowers, the child's glad eyes
Your joy inhuman shall control,
And in your wings a light and wind
Shall move from the Maestro's soul.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: child, school, wind, passion, peace, hair, fire, joy, light, world, flower, children, dream, girl

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (In the Cathedral Close by Edward Dowden )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. I Need You, Diana Rose
  2. Farewell Mama, akachukwu chukwuemeka ( akab ..
  3. Love, Akhil Zoomin
  4. Accident and Emergency Unit, akachukwu chukwuemeka ( akab ..
  5. Long Lost Love, Marites C. Cayetano
  6. Likes, Holly Moon
  7. Living, Holly Moon
  8. Limerick-45, DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
  9. My Periphery, Holly Moon
  10. Memories, Holly Moon

Poem of the Day

poet Sara Teasdale

I would live in your love as the sea-grasses live in the sea,
Borne up by each wave as it passes, drawn down by each wave that recedes;
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  2. November, Thomas Hood
  3. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
  4. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  5. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  6. If, Rudyard Kipling
  7. I Would Live In Your Love, Sara Teasdale
  8. A Poison Tree, William Blake
  9. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]