light that gleams like the ghost of May ♫·

12/11/2016 § Σχολιάστε

George Orwell


photo: BBC

Summer for an Instant

Summer-like for an instant the autumn sun bursts out,
And the light through the turning elms is green and clear,
It slants down the path and the ragged marigolds glow
Fiery again, last flames of the dying year.

A blue-tit darts with a flash of wings, to feed
Where the coconut hangs on the pear tree over the wall;
He digs at the meat like a tiny pickaxe tapping
With his needle-sharp beak as he clings to the swinging ball.

Then he runs up the trunk, sure footed and sleek like a mouse,
And perches to sun himself; all his body and brain
Exalt in the sudden sunlight, gladly believing
That the cold is over and summer is here again.

But I see the umber clouds that drive for the sun
And a sorrow no argument ever can take away
Goes through my heart as I think of the nearing winter,
And the transient light that gleams like the ghost of May.

And the bird, unaware, blessing the summer eternal,
Joyfully labouring, proud of his strength, gay-plumed,
Unaware of the hawk and the snow and the frost-bound nights,
And his death foredoomed.


  • George Orwell: The Complete Poems, compiled and by Dione Venables, is published by Finlay Press at £8.99. Available from
  • source: The Guardian
  • Published in the Adelphi Magazine, May 1933


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