Poem introduction

This poem was recorded by the Archive as part of the Writing Places project. Writing Places is a pilot project funded by the Arts Council and designed to celebrate literature and its place in our history by placing Writers-In-Residence at four National Trust properties in the South West of England. The literary and heritage project aims to broaden audiences for literature events and to encourage public engagement with creative reading and writing as well as bringing these inspirational National Trust places to a wider audience. The Poetry Archive is proud to be working alongside Literature Works and The National Trust to bring you these recordings.

Overlooking the River Stour

The swallows flew in the curves of an eight
Above the river-gleam
In the wet June's last beam:
Like little crossbows animate
The swallows flew in the curves of an eight
Above the river-gleam.

Planing up shavings of crystal spray
A moor-hen darted out
From the bank thereabout,
And through the stream-shine ripped his way;
Planing up shavings of crystal spray
A moor-hen darted out.

Closed were the kingcups; and the mead
Dripped in monotonous green,
Though the day's morning sheen
Had shown it golden and honeybee'd;
Closed were the kingcups; and the mead
Dripped in monotonous green.

And never I turned my head, alack,
While these things met my gaze
Through the pane's drop-drenched glaze,
To see the more behind my back . . .
O never I turned, but let, alack,
These less things hold my gaze!

 

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Recordings

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy Downloads read by Anthony Thwaite & Lawrence Sail

1The Man He Killed (read by Anthony Thwaite)

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2Drummer Hodge (read by Anthony Thwaite)

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3The Ruined Maid (read by Anthony Thwaite)

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4The Voice (read by Anthony Thwaite)

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5The Darkling Thrush (read by Lawrence Sail)

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6In Time of the Breaking of Nations (read by Anthony Thwaite)

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