The magpies in Picardy
  Are more than I can tell.
  They flicker down the dusty roads
  And cast a magic spell
  On the men who march through Picardy,
  Through Picardy to hell.
  (The blackbird flies with panic,
  The swallow goes with light,
  The finches move like ladies,
  the owl floats by at night;
  But the great and flashing magpie
  He flies as artists might.)
  A magpie in Picardy
  Told me secret things–
  Of the music in white feathers,
  And the sunlight that sings
  And dances in deep shadows–
  He told me with his wings.
  (The hawk is cruel and rigid,
  He watches from a height;
  The rook is slow and sombre,
  The robin loves to fight;
  But the great and flashing magpie
  He flies as lovers might.)
  He told me that in Picardy,
  An age ago or more,
  While all his fathers still were eggs,
  These dusty highways bore
  Brown, singing soldiers marching out
  Through Picardy to war.
  He said that still through chaos
  Works on the ancient plan,
  And two things have altered not
  Since first the world began–
  The beauty of the wild green earth
  And the bravery of man.
  (For the sparrow flies unthinking
  And quarrels in his flight;
  The heron trails his legs behind,
  The lark goes out of sight;
  But the great and flashing magpie
  He flies as poets might.)

Posted on January 17, 2011, in Borrowed Rymes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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