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The Streets Post by :jimh1626 Category :Poems Author :John Freeman Date :September 2011 Read :2558

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The Streets

Marlboro' and Waterloo and Trafalgar,
Tuileries, Talavera, Valenciennes,
Were strange names all, and all familiar;

For down their streets I went, early and late
(Is there a street where I have never been
Of all those hundreds, narrow, skyless, straight?)--

Early and late, they were my woods and meadows;
The rain upon their dust my summer smell;
Their scant herb and brown sparrows and harsh shadows

Were all my spring. Was there another spring?
I knew their noisy desolation well,
Drinking it up as a child drinks everything,

Knowing no other world than brick and stone,
With one rich memory of the earth all bright.
Now all is fallen into oblivion--

All that I was, in years of school and play,
Things that I hated, things that were delight,
Are all forgotten, or shut all away

Behind a creaking door that opens slow.
But there's a child that walks those streets of war,
Hearing his running footsteps as they go

Echoed from house to house, and wondering
At Marlboro', Waterloo and Trafalgar;
And at night, when the yellow gas lamps fling

Unsteady shadows, singing for company;
Yet loving the lighted dark, and any star
Caught by sharp roofs in a narrow net of sky.

(The end)
John Freeman's poem: Streets

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When Childhood Died When Childhood Died

When Childhood Died
I can recall the day When childhood died.I had grown thin and tall And eager-eyed.Such a false happiness Had seized me then;A child, I saw myself Man among men.Now I see that I was Ignorant, surprised,As one for the surgeon's knife Anaesthetized.So that I did not know What loomed before,Nor how, a child, I became A child no more.The world's sharpened knife Cut round my heart;Then something was taken And flung apart.I did not, could not know What had been done.Under some evil drag I lived as oneAt home

Fear (surely I Must Have Ailed) Fear (surely I Must Have Ailed)

Fear (surely I Must Have Ailed)
Surely I must have ailed On that dark night,Or my childish courage failed Because there was no light;Or terror must have come With his chill wing,And made my angel dumb, Or found him slumbering.Because I could not sleep Terror began to wake,Close at my side to creep And sting me like a snake.And I was afraid of death, But when I thought of pain--O, language no word hath To recall that thought again!Into my heart fear crawled And wreathed close around,Mortal, convulsive, cold, And I lay bound.Fear set before my eyes