Strange Meetings: Poems By Harold Monro (Wiltshire: Laurel Books, 2003): 44-45.
1Dull and hard the low wind creaks
2Among the rustling pampas plumes.
3Drearily the year consumes
4Its fifty-two insipid weeks.
5Most of the grey-green meadow land
6Was sold in parsimonious lots;
7The dingy houses stand
8Pressed by some stout contractor’s hand
9Tightly together in their plots.
10Through builded banks the sullen river
11Gropes, where its houses crouch and shiver.
12Over the bridge the tyrant train
13Shrieks, and emerges on the plain.
14In all the better gardens you may pass,
15(Product of many careful Saturdays),
16Large red geraniums and tall pampas grass
17Adorn the plots and mark the gravelled ways.
18Sometimes in the background may be seen
19A private summer-house in white or green.
20Here on warm nights the daughter brings
21Her vacillating clerk,
22To talk of small exciting things
23And touch his fingers through the dark.
24He, in the uncomfortable breach
25Between her trilling laughters,
26Promises, in halting speech,
27Hopeless immense Hereafters.
28She trembles like the pampas plumes.
29Her strained lips haggle. He assumes
30The serious quest …
31Now as the train is whistling past
32He takes her in his arms at last.
33It’s done. She blushes at his side
34Across the lawn–a bride, a bride.
35The stout contractor will design,
36The lazy labourers will prepare,
37Another villa on the line;
38In the litte garden-square
39Pampas grass will rustle there.
Collected Poems, ed. Alida Monro, with prefaces by F. S. Flint and T. S. Eliot (London: Cobden-Sanderson, 1933): 159-61.
RPO poem Editors