THE SONG OF AN EXILE - William Hamilton Poems

 
 

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THE SONG OF AN EXILE

    I have seen the Cliffs of Dover
        And the White Horse on the Hill;
    I have walked the lanes, a rover;
        I have dreamed beside the rill:
    I have known the fields awaking
        To the gentle touch of Spring;
    The joy of morning breaking,
        And the peace your twilights bring.
But I long for a sight of the pines, and the blue shadows under;
For the sweet-smelling gums, and the throbbing of African air;
For the sun and the sand, and the sound of the surf's ceaseless thunder,
The height, and the breadth and the depth, and the nakedness there!

    I have visited your cities
        Where the unregenerate dwell;
    I have trilled the ploughman's ditties
        To the mill-wheel and the well.
    I have heard the poised lark's singing
        To the blue of summer skies;
    The whirr of pheasants winging,
        And the crash when grouse arise.
But I sigh for the heat of the veldt, and the cool-flowing river;
For the crack of the trek-whip, the shimmer of dust-laden noon;
For the day sudden dying; the croak of the frogs, and the shiver
Of tropical night, and the stars, and the low hanging moon.

    I have listen'd in the gloaming
        To your poets' tales of old;
    I know, when I am roaming
        That I walk on hallowed mould.
    I have lived and fought among you
        And I trow your hearts are steel;
    That the nations who deride you
        Shall, like dogs, be brought to heel.
But I pine for the roar of the lion on the edge of the clearing;
For the rustle of grass snake; the birds' flashing wing in the heath;
For the sun shrivelled peaks of the mountains to blue heaven rearing;
The limitless outlook, the space, and the freedom beneath.