Friday, June 26, 2009

Poetry Friday: Imogen

by Sir Henry Newbolt (1862-1938)

LADIES, where were your bright eyes glancing,
Where were they glancing yesternight?
Saw ye Imogen dancing, dancing,
Imogen dancing all in white?
Laughed she not with a pure delight,
Laughed she not with a joy serene,
Stepped she not with a grace entrancing,
Slenderly girt in silken sheen?

All through the night from dusk to daytime
Under her feet the hours were swift,
Under her feet the hours of playtime
Rose and fell with a rhythmic lift:
Music set her adrift, adrift,
Music eddying towards the day
Swept her along as brooks in Maytime
Carry the freshly falling may.

Ladies, life is a changing measure,
Youth is a lilt that endeth soon;
Pluck ye never so fast at pleasure
Twilight follows the longest noon.
Nay, but here is a lasting boon,
Life for hearts that are old and chill,
Youth undying for hearts that treasure
Imogen dancing, dancing still.


Amy said...

I love it! At the end, is he saying that one's appreciation of Imogen, symbolizing youth and beauty, is what keeps one alive and young? I have such a hard time understanding poetry.

The Rat Cap said...

Thanks for posting this.

There is a great integration of the meter and verse with the theme. You can sing this very easily. Well-crafted and the meaning imparted elegantly and imaginatively.

thanks again

Lynne said...

Well that's what I got from it anyway: If you can appreciate the joys of youth you retain youthfulness.

I'd never heard of this poet before today either. I'll have to check out more of his work.