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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Time, You Old Gypsy Man

(Mother Sewing with Child by Mary Cassatt,
1844-1926, American painter and printmaker)

All parents have similar wistful thoughts.


Time, you old gypsy man,
Will you not stay,
Put up your caravan
Just for one day?
All things I’ll give you
Will you be my guest,
Bells for your jennet
Of silver the best,
Goldsmiths shall beat you
A great golden ring,
Peacocks shall bow to you,
Little boys sing.
Oh, and sweet girls will
Festoon you with may.
Time, you old gypsy,
Why hasten away?

Last week in Babylon,
Last night in Rome,
Morning, and in the crush
Under Paul's dome;
Under Paul’s dial
You tighten your rein —
Only a moment,
And off once again;
Off to some city
Now blind in the womb,
Off to another
Ere that’s in the tomb.

Time, you old gypsy man,
Will you not stay?
Put up your caravan
Just for one day?

~ Ralph Hodgson (1871-1962), English poet


Judy@Learningtoletgo said...

This one is from Louise Gluck. I clipped it from "The New Yorker" some years ago.

(Study in Oils)

A small child
is ill, has wakened.
It is winter, past midnight
in Antwerp. Above a wooden chest,
the stars shine.
And the child
relaxes in her mother's arms.
The mother does not sleep;
she stares
fixedly into the bright museum.
By spring the child will die.
Then it is wrong, wrong
to hold her---
let her be alone,
without memory, as the others wake
terrified, scraping the dark
paint from their faces.

Anonymous said...

Time you old gypsie man,
was a favourite childhood poem
but it was always
under Pauls Dome.
Under Bens dial

refering to St Pauls Cathedral and the clock Big Ben the London clock