Poem of the day

Country Dance
by Edith Sitwell (1887-1964)

That hobnailed goblin, the bob-tailed Hob,
Said, ‛It is time I began to rob.’
For strawberries bob, hob-nob with the pearls
Of cream (like the curls of the dairy girls),
And flushed with the heat and fruitish-ripe
Are the gowns of the maids who dance to the pipe.
Chase a maid?
She’s afraid!
‛Go gather a bob-cherry kiss from a tree,
But don’t, I prithee, come bothering me!’
She said,
As she fled.
The snouted satyrs drink clouted cream
’Neath the chestnut-trees as thick as a dream;
So I went,
And leant,
Where none but the doltish coltish wind
Nuzzled my hand for what it could find.
As it neighed,
I said,
‛Don’t touch me, sir, don’t touch me, I say,
You’ll tumble my strawberries into the hay.’
Those snow-mounds of silver that bee, the spring,
Has sucked his sweetness from, I will bring
With fair-haired plants and with apples chill
For the great god Pan’s high altar . . . I’ll spill
Not one!
So, in fun,
We rolled on the grass and began to run
Chasing that gaudy satyr the Sun;
Over the haycocks, away we ran
Crying, ‛Here be berries as sunburnt as Pan!’
But Silenus
Has seen us. . . .
He runs like the rough satyr Sun.
                                                               Come away!

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