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Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Poplar by Richard Aldington

Why do you always stand there shivering 
Between the white stream and the road? 

The people pass through the dust 
On bicycles, in carts, in motor-cars; 
The waggoners go by at down; 
The lovers walk on the grass path at night. 

Stir from your roots, walk, poplar! 
You are more beautiful than they are. 

I know that the white wind loves you, 
Is always kissing you and turning up 
The white lining of your green petticoat. 
The sky darts through you like blue rain, 
And the grey rain drips on your flanks 
And loves you. 
And I have seen the moon 
Slip his silver penny into your pocket 
As you straightened your hair; 
And the white mist curling and hesitating 
Like a bashful lover about your knees. 

I know you, poplar; 
I have watched you since I was ten. 
But if you had a little real love, 
A little strength, 
You would leave your nonchalant idle lovers 
And go walking down the white road 
Behind the waggoners. 

There are beautiful beeches down beyond the hill. 
Will you always stand there shivering?

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