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Poems — Volume 3   By: (1828-1909)

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Poems by George Meredith Volume 3

A STAVE OF ROVING TIM (ADDRESSED TO CERTAIN FRIENDLY TRAMPS.)

I

The wind is East, the wind is West, Blows in and out of haven; The wind that blows is the wind that's best, And croak, my jolly raven! If here awhile we jigged and laughed, The like we will do yonder; For he's the man who masters a craft, And light as a lord can wander. So, foot the measure, Roving Tim, And croak, my jolly raven! The wind according to its whim Is in and out of haven.

II

You live in rows of snug abodes, With gold, maybe, for counting; And mine's the beck of the rainy roads Against the sun a mounting. I take the day as it behaves, Nor shiver when 'tis airy; But comes a breeze, all you are on waves, Sick chickens o' Mother Carey! So, now for next, cries Roving Tim, And croak, my jolly raven! The wind according to its whim Is in and out of haven.

III

Sweet lass, you screw a lovely leer, To make a man consider. If you were up with the auctioneer, I'd be a handsome bidder. But wedlock clips the rover's wing; She tricks him fly to spider; And when we get to fights in the Ring, It's trumps when you play outsider. So, wrench and split, cries Roving Tim, And croak, my jolly raven! The wind according to its whim Is in and out of haven.

IV

Along my winding way I know A shady dell that's winking; The very corner for Self and Co To do a world of thinking. And shall I this? and shall I that? Till Nature answers, ne'ther! Strike match and light your pipe in your hat, Rejoicing in sound shoe leather! So lead along, cries Roving Tim, And croak, my jolly raven! The wind according to its whim Is in and out of haven.

V

A cunning hand 'll hand you bread, With freedom for your capers. I'm not so sure of a cunning head; It steers to pits or vapours. But as for Life, we'll bear in sight The lesson Nature teaches; Regard it in a sailoring light, And treat it like thirsty leeches. So, fly your jib, cries Roving Tim, And top your boom, old raven! The wind according to its whim Is in and out of haven.

VI

She'll take, to please her dame and dad, The shopman nicely shaven. She'll learn to think o' the marching lad When perchers show they're craven. You say the shopman piles a heap, While I perhaps am fasting; And bless your wits, it haunts him in sleep, His tin kettle chance of lasting! So hail the road, cries Roving Tim, And hail the rain, old raven! The wind according to its whim Is in and out of haven.

VII

He's half a wife, yon pecker bill; A book and likewise preacher. With any soul, in a game of skill, He'll prove your over reacher. The reason is, his brains are bent On doing things right single. You'd wish for them when pitching your tent At night in a whirly dingle! So, off we go, cries Roving Tim, And on we go, old raven! The wind according to its whim Is in and out of haven.

VIII

Lord, no, man's lot is not for bliss; To call it woe is blindness: It'll here a kick, and it's there a kiss, And here and there a kindness. He starts a hare and calls her joy; He runs her down to sorrow: The dogs within him bother the boy, But 'tis a new day to morrow. So, I at helm, cries Roving Tim, And you at bow, old raven! The wind according to its whim Is in and out of haven.

JUMP TO GLORY JANE

I

A revelation came on Jane, The widow of a labouring swain: And first her body trembled sharp, Then all the woman was a harp With winds along the strings; she heard, Though there was neither tone nor word.

II

For past our hearing was the air, Beyond our speaking what it bare, And she within herself had sight Of heaven at work to cleanse outright, To make of her a mansion fit For angel hosts inside to sit.

III

They entered, and forthwith entranced, Her body braced, her members danced; Surprisingly the woman leapt; And countenance composed she kept: As gossip neighbours in the lane Declared, who saw and pitied Jane.

IV

These knew she had been reading books, The which was witnessed by her looks Of late: she had a mania For mad folk in America, And said for sure they led the way, But meat and beer were meant to stay... Continue reading book >>


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