Nests in Elms

By Michael Field Michael Field
The rooks are cawing  up and down the trees!
Among their nests they caw. O sound I treasure,
Ripe as old music is, the summer's measure,
Sleep at her gossip, sylvan mysteries,
With prate and clamour to give zest of these—
In rune I trace the ancient law of pleasure,
Of love, of all the busy-ness of leisure,
With dream on dream of never-thwarted ease.
O homely birds, whose cry is harbinger
Of nothing sad, who know not anything
Of sea-birds' loneliness, of Procne's strife,
Rock round me when I die! So sweet it were
To die by open doors, with you on wing
Humming the deep security of life.

Source: Wild Honey from Various Thyme (1907)

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Poet Michael Field

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Living, Death, Nature, Animals

Poetic Terms Sonnet

Biography

Under the pseudonym Michael Field, Katherine Harris Bradley and her niece Edith Emma Cooper collaboratively published eight books of poetry and twenty-seven plays in late 19th-century Britain. The two women enjoyed a warm reception as Field in Victorian literary circles upon the release of their first major verse drama, Callirhoë and Fair Rosamond (1884), even garnering the admiration of Walter Pater, George Meredith, and Robert . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Nature, Animals

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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