Thursday, 3 July 2014

In An Old Nursery

A prim old room where memories stir
Through faded chintz and wall-paper,
Like bees along the lavender
          Of some dim border ;
Bay-windowed, whence at close of day
You see the roosty starlings sway
High on the elm-tree's topmost spray
          In gossip order.

In its quaint realm how soon one slips
Back to the age of treasure-ships,
The atmosphere of cowboy-trips
          And boundless prairies ;
And when the red logs fret and fume
(They're lit to-night to air the room)
Here come a tip-toe in the gloom
          Old nursery fairies.

Here come dear ghosts to him who sees-
Fat ghosts of long digested teas,
Thin little ghosts of "saying please,"
          Big ghosts of birthdays,
And sundry honourable sprites
To whisper those foredone delights
Of hallowe'ens and stocking-nights
          And other mirth-days.

Its walls are full of musics drawn
From twitterings in the eaves at dawn,
From swish of scythe on summer lawn,
          From Shetlands pawing
The gravel by the front-door yew,
And, wind-tossed from the avenue,
Fugues of first February blue
          And rooks a-cawing.

Old room, the years have galloped on,
The days that danced, the hours that shone
Have turned their backs on you and gone
          By ways that harden ;
But you in you their gold and myrrh
And frankincense of dreams still stir
Like bees that haunt the lavender
          Of some walled garden !

Patrick R Chalmers – Green Days and Blue Days (1912)

A little too sentimental for me yet it still appeals, stirring up delicate pastel tones of long afternoons spent musing in the dappled shade of old memories.


Mac said...

".....stirring up delicate pastel tones of long afternoons spent musing in the dappled shade of old memories." Love it.

A K Haart said...

Mac - thanks. It took a few goes to describe how the poem affected me.