The Poetry Corner

A Saxon Song

By Victoria Mary Sackville-West

Tools with the comely names, Mattock and scythe and spade, Couth and bitter as flames, Clean, and bowed in the blade, A man and his tools make a man and his trade. Breadth of the English shires, Hummock and kame and mead, Tang of the reeking byres, Land of the English breed, A man and his land make a man and his creed. Leisurely flocks and herds, Cool-eyed cattle that come Mildly to wonted words, Swine that in orchards roam, A man and his beasts make a man and his home. Children sturdy and flaxen Shouting in brotherly strife, Like the land they are Saxon, Sons of a man and his wife, For a man and his loves make a man and his life.