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Poems for Mum

Bed time readings. The poems are mostly taken for Palgrave's Golden Treasury,
the book Mum read as a child, both for pleasure and at school.
On First Looking into Chapman's Homer

Sea Fever


The Reaper

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
No sweeter voice was ever heard
In spring-time from the cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate’er the theme, the maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending;
I listen’d till I had my fill;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore
Long after it was heard no more.


Lord Ullin’s Daughter


The Highway Man



Most recent readings at the top of the list

  • On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer – John Keats
  • Sea Fever – John Masefield
  • The Solitary Reaper – William Wordsworth
  • The Highway Man – Alfred Noyes
  • Lord Ullin’s Daughter – Thomas Campbell