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Twenty   By: (1892-1933)

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First Page:

TWENTY

BY

STELLA BENSON

Author of "This Is the End," "I Pose"

1918

PREFACE

Almost all the verses in this book have appeared before, the majority of them included in two books, I Pose and This is the End . Messrs. Macmillan, who published these, have been kind in raising no objection to re publication. I have also to thank the Editors of the Athenaeum, Everyman , and the Pall Mall Gazette for allowing me to reprint verses.

The title of the book has no reference to the writer's age.

S.B.

CONTENTS PAGE

CHRISTMAS, 1917 1 THE SECRET DAY 3 SONG 6 THE ORCHARD 8 THANKS TO MY WORLD FOR THE LOAN OF A FAIR DAY 11 SONG 13 WORDS 15 REDNECK'S SONG 17 TO THE UNBORN 19 THE NEWER ZION 21 TWO WOMEN SING 26 THE WOMAN ALONE 28 THE INEVITABLE 30 THE DOG TUPMAN 32 SAINT BRIDE 34 THE SLAVE OF GOD 36 TRUE PROMISES 40 THE CORNISHMAN 43 FIVE SMOOTH STONES 45 NEW YEAR, 1918 51

CHRISTMAS, 1917

A key no thief can steal, no time can rust; A faery door, adventurous and golden; A palace, perfect to our eyes Ah must Our eyes be holden?

Has the past died before this present sin? Has this most cruel age already stonèd To martyrdom that magic Day, within Those halls, enthronèd?

No. Through the dancing of the young spring rain, Through the faint summer, and the autumn's burning, Our still immortal Day has heard again Our steps returning.

THE SECRET DAY

My yesterday has gone, has gone and left me tired, And now to morrow comes and beats upon the door; So I have built To day, the day that I desired, Lest joy come not again, lest peace return no more, Lest comfort come no more.

So I have built To day, a proud and perfect day, And I have built the towers of cliffs upon the sands; The foxgloves and the gorse I planted on my way; The thyme, the velvet thyme, grew up beneath my hands, Grew pink beneath my hands.

So I have built To day, more precious than a dream; And I have painted peace upon the sky above; And I have made immense and misty seas, that seem More kind to me than life, more fair to me than love More beautiful than love.

And I have built a house a house upon the brink Of high and twisted cliffs; the sea's low singing fills it; And there my Secret Friend abides, and there I think I'll hide my heart away before to morrow kills it A cold to morrow kills it.

Yes, I have built To day, a wall against To morrow, So let To morrow knock I shall not be afraid, For none shall give me death, and none shall give me sorrow, And none shall spoil this darling day that I have made. No storm shall stir my sea. No night but mine shall shade This day that I have made.

SONG

There is the track my feet have worn By which my fate may find me: From that dim place where I was born Those footprints run behind me... Continue reading book >>




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