An English Ode

That famous field where nodding poppies sway
In sunlit grass, where souls of all the good
Spend sweet Eternity in dance and play
And with the gods, take Beauty as their food
__Upon the isle across the sea
__That circles all the mortal world
With misty waters like a castle moat –
__How like must that famed meadow be
__To these fair fields where late I’ve strolled
These hills and lanes, these woods, this very spot!

Was it vain pomp or blind naïveté
That made the folk of ancient Egypt style
Their image of divine Eternity
Upon their earthly land astride the Nile?
__Where they might hunt in starry creeks
__Beside the starry waterway
Or find in starry gardens sweet, cool shade?
__Or likewise made the clan of Greeks
__Use Grecian fields where grasses sway
As models for their paradisal glade?

But no, let neither supposition stand
I say, that it was rather that they paid
The greatest compliment to their dear land
When seeing Beauty there, “Divine!” they said
__And so to English Summer Time
__Such compliment I wish to pay
As will the praise of those old pagans match
__The heaven forming in my mind
__The isle to which I’ll cross one day
Has village greens and homes with roofs of thatch.

 

 

Ode on Returning Home

I
When work is done, thoughts turn to home’s warm glow
Behind me has now closed the office gate
Bright images shine forth that lift me so
Familiar smiles of little ones who wait
__And onward leaps my heart to say
__To them that I’m well on my way
And echo back the joyous, radiant cheer
__Returning is a Treasured Thing
__That makes my Soul and Spirit sing
For they to me are infinitely dear.

II
This love must be the fire that warms the tale
Of he who journeyed far on leaving Troy
And neither towering wave nor raging gale
The will to reach his loved ones could destroy
__Nor could the lulling lotus flower
__With all its hedonistic power
Obliterate the thoughts of wife and child
__Nor could the cyclops rude and strong
__Nor sirens with their luring song
Prevent him reaching his beloved isle.

III
Our old savannah tribes would send a band
Of huntsmen, ranging far in search of prey
By reading clues laid down by hoof in sand
To guide them on for days upon their way
__Until, at length, the prize attained,
__They yearn to see those who remained
In camp, awaiting that long hoped for sign:
__When finally the camp they spy
__Across the grassland wild and dry
Their hearts explode for joy, and so does mine.

 

 

Ode to a Car Key

I
O fine, faff-free and labour-saving key
That lets me lock and unlock, with one press,
The car remotely and most easily
For you my heart now fills with thankfulness
__Let’s say it’s raining and one stands
____With luggage in both hands
It’s been a busy day and one is tired
__How glad one feels to then recall
__A single button press is all
____That is required!

II
Hephaestus for the gods with rarest skill
Did many a shining bronze device design
Some tool that leapt to action at their will
Performing tasks befitting lives divine:
__Their gold cars pulled by brazen steed
____Through air at such a speed
As lighting that precedes the thunder’s rumble
__We feel ourselves to be their kin
__When gracefully we enter in
____Without a fumble

III
So unimpeded in the car I climb
And like a king upon a throne I sit
And cruise the country lanes in state sublime
Like Bacchus in his magic vine-filled ship
__And as my homeward way I wend
____I know at journey’s end
There waits for me a happy circumstance:
__I’ll loose the safety belt and out
__I’ll get and walk away without
____A backwards glance.

 

 

Currently working as a Creative in Marketing, William Glyn-Jones studied English and Media Studies at University and then did a Masters in the History of Art. A long time lover of the classical tradition, he lived in Greece for a time teaching English, but now lives in a cottage outside the city of Bath in the UK with his wife, two young daughters and a voracious guinea pig. He is fascinated by reports of how expressing and recording gratitude can have long term positive effects on mood, and to this aim generally now writes at least one ‘Gratitude Ode’ a week, and is pretty sure it’s working.

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