Siegfried Sassoon: Alone

I’ve listened: and all the sounds I heard
Were music,—wind, and stream, and bird.
With youth who sang from hill to hill
I’ve listened: my heart is hungry still.

I’ve looked: the morning world was green;
Bright roofs and towers of town I’ve seen;
And stars, wheeling through wingless night.
I’ve looked: and my soul yet longs for light.

I’ve thought: but in my sense survives
Only the impulse of those lives
That were my making. Hear me say
‘I’ve thought!’—and darkness hides my day.

Philip Larkin: The Mower

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The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed.  It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably.  Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.

Rhiannon Dance: Necrophagy I

 

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Singed tips of a wormed mass
fester beneath thatch and flake,
a face turns to dust as a thousand
electrifying ants crawl.

Arm raised to heaven and bereft
of any feeling; the monthly terror,
pulling at eye sockets and nerve endings
locusts and crickets festival.

Cricket bat racquet hand reaches uncertainly
for a link to cry for help,
useless digits blunder and surrender to
a swarm of wasps in my head.