The Thinking Poet


Leave Taking

From View Point Poole I take my leave.

Savour air Purbeck blown.

Launch my sight porpoise-like

Over crystal waters sparkling,

Past Old Harry to seas beyond Hesperides.

And the green hills roll and roll;

Unreal sight in fresh-washed light

Unreal because so rare,

Yet real because it sounds the horn I heard before my birth,

The sharp, quickening, rousing call that fires the flesh with life,

And bids us hunt the wily fox of time.


Here am I, and here I hold that old familiar scene

Of last things, past things,

Things that might have been.

Now I move on.


Shake the dust-sheets over, take the pictures down

Before you leave the room and close the door.

And as I grasp this picture to my heart

I see it as I never saw before.


All life is leave-taking,

And in partings are our eyes unscaled.

We cannot see for seeing

But like a cat, pounce only when the mouse would dash away.

Therefore all knowing is a long leave-taking,

That in our living we may seize the fleeting hour.

Ewig, ewig, ewig, .....


13.1.69    R.R. Cretchley