Canadian Singers and Their Songs/Bernard Freeman Trotter

For other versions of this work, see The Poplars (Trotter).


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BERNARD FREEMAN TROTTER

LIEUTENANT IN 11TH LEICESTER REGIMENT, B.E.F.
KILLED IN ACTION MAY 7TH, 1917

AUTHOR OF "A CANADIAN TWILIGHT AND OTHER POEMS OF WAR AND OF PEACE."

The Poplars

O a lush green English meadow{{subst:--}}it's
there that I would lie{{subst:--}}
A skylark singing overhead, scarce present
to the eye,
And a row of windblown poplars against
an English sky.

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When the wind goes through the poplars
And blows them silver white,
The wonder of the universe is flashed
before my sight:
I see immortal visions: I know a god's
delight.

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I catch the secret rhythm that steals
along the earth,
That swells the bud, and splits the
burr, and gives the oak its girth,
That mocks the blight and canker
with its eternal birth.

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I see with the clear vision of that
untainted prime,
Before the fool's bells jangled in,
And Elfland ceased to chime,
That sin and pain and sorrow
are but a pantomime{{subst:--}}

A dance of leaves in ether, of leaves
threadbare and sere,
From whose decaying husks at last
what glory shall appear
When the white winter angel leads in
the happier year

And so I sing the poplars and when
I come to die
I will not look for jasper walls, but
cast about my eye
For a row of windblown poplars
against an English sky.

Bernard F. Trotter