Welcome to this weeks edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 4th of September 2017 on Red Kite Radio.
For September, we are changing the poetic theme to Autumn and in this edition look at Matthew Arnold’s poem, Oxfordshire, taken from his epic work, The Scholar Gipsy. Arnold is attributed to giving the City of Oxford the title, “City of Dreaming Spires”, when he provided the description in his poem Thyrsis.
For those of you who can’t access the recording, the text version of his poem is added after the recording bar.
To hear the recording, please press the arrow on the left of the sound bar below.
Have a great weekend.
Oxfordshire – (from the Scholar Gipsy)
And, above Godstow Bridge, when hay-time’s here
In June, and many a scythe in sunshine flames,
Men who through those wide fields of breezy grass
Where black-wing’d swallows haunt the glittering Thames,
To bathe in the abandon’d lasher pass,
Have often pass’d thee near
Sitting upon the river bank o’ergrown;
Mark’d thine outlandish garb, thy figure spare,
Thy dark vague eyes, and soft abstracted air—
But, when they came from bathing, thou wert gone!
At some lone homestead in the Cumner hills,
Where at her open door the housewife darns,
Thou hast been seen, or hanging on a gate
To watch the threshers in the mossy barns.
Children, who early range these slopes and late
For cresses from the rills,
Have known thee watching, all an April-day,
The springing pasture and the feeding kine;
And mark’d thee, when the stars come out and shine,
Through the long dewy grass move slow away.
In Autumn, on the skirts of Bagley Wood—
Where most the gipsies by the turf-edged way
Pitch their smok’d tents, and every bush you see
With scarlet patches tagg’d and shreds of grey,
Above the forest-ground called Thessaly—
The blackbird, picking food,
Sees thee, nor stops his meal, nor fears at all;
So often has he known thee past him stray,
Rapt, twirling in thy hand a wither’d spray,
And waiting for the spark from Heaven to fall.