Poem by Alice Christiana Gertrude Thompson Meynell (1847-1922)

The Modern Poet - A Song of Derivations


    I come from nothing; but from where
    Come the undying thoughts I bear?
        Down, through long links of death and birth,
        From the past poets of the earth.
    My immortality is there.

    I am like the blossom of an hour.
    But long, long vanished sun and shower
        Awoke my breath i' the young world's air.
        I track the past back everywhere
    Through seed and flower and seed and flower.

    Or I am like a stream that flows
    Full of the cold springs that arose
        In morning lands, in distant hills;
        And down the plain my channel fills
    With melting of forgotten snows.

    Voices, I have not heard, possessed
    My own fresh songs; my thoughts are blessed
        With relics of the far unknown.
        And mixed with memories not my own
    The sweet streams throng into my breast.

    Before this life began to be,
    The happy songs that wake in me
        Woke long ago and far apart.
        Heavily on this little heart
    Presses this immortality.



More information on Alice Meynell

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Written on 2022-03-14 at 00:00

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Griffonner The PoetBay support member heart!
Brilliant isn't it? The rhyming is clever and pleasing, and the flow is pretty much perfect.
The poet's lot is made up of life, death, love and tragedy. It comes from somewhere, I don't honestly know where.
Interestingly Alice's final stanza rings home to me very much today:
"The happy songs that wake in me
Woke long ago and far apart."
Because I woke up with the words of a nonsense song that my grandmother used to sing. It was in the hit parade in 1944 apparently! Where did that come from!
Maybe I brought all this a bit down to Earth there. Just sayin' :)