The Poetry Corner


By William Henry Davies

We have no grass locked up in ice so fast That cattle cut their faces and at last, When it is reached, must lie them down and starve, With bleeding mouths that freeze too hard to move. We have not that delirious state of cold That makes men warm and sing when in Death's hold. We have no roaring floods whose angry shocks Can kill the fishes dashed against their rocks. We have no winds that cut down street by street, As easy as our scythes can cut down wheat. No mountains here to spew their burning hearts Into the valleys, on our human parts. No earthquakes here, that ring church bells afar, A hundred miles from where those earthquakes are. We have no cause to set our dreaming eyes, Like Arabs, on fresh streams in Paradise. We have no wilds to harbour men that tell More murders than they can remember well. No woman here shall wake from her night's rest, To find a snake is sucking at her breast. Though I have travelled many and many a mile, And had a man to clean my boots and smile With teeth that had less bone in them than gold - Give me this England now for all my world.