Sunday, May 29, 2016

Domesday / Robert Hillyer


The garlands and the songs of May
Shall welcome in the Judgment Day;
About the basking country-side
Blossom the souls of them that died.
O Dead awake! Arise in bloom
Upon the joyous dawn of doom.

They rise up from the bleeding earth
In gracious legions of re-birth,
Each as a flower or a tree
Of verdant immortality.
And hosts of glad-voiced angels sing
In the rippling groves of spring.

From the grave of youth there grows
A passionately-petaled rose,
Where the virgin whitely lies
A lily fair as Paradise.
And in that old oak's leafy glee
Some gouty sire makes sport of me.

O Dead of yore and yesterday
All hail the resurrecting May!
Beside you in the flowering grass
The feet of youth and love shall pass,
And we that greet you with a smile
Shall join you in a little while.

Robert Hillyer (1895-1961)
from Eight Harvard Poets, 1917

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]

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