Thursday, March 08, 2007

"Ballad of the Londoner"

Well, you can't see it very well in the picture, but the bad photo above is one the Poems on the Underground series - which has been running for years and I think is a good and proper thing. Being the middle-class lefty I hope to always be.

I was on the way to a gig last night, and spotted this one while on the Victoria Line. It's by James Elroy Flecker, who I had not heard of before. I think it is a bit wonderful:

Ballad of the Londoner

Evening falls on the smoky walls,
And the railings drip with rain,
And I will cross the old river
To see my girl again.

The great and solemn-gliding tram,
Love's still-mysterious car,
Has many a light of gold and white,
And a single dark red star.

I know a garden in a street
Which no one ever knew;
I know a rose beyond the Thames,
Where flowers are pale and few.

I nearly didn't catch this, as I only decided to change onto the Victoria Line at Stockwell at the very last second. I am glad I did. Later that evening I wondered across the river on the Millenium bridge and was thinking about this still. The river looked beautiful in the late evening - black like treacle and shining with the reds and golds of the lights beside it.

I think I might be turning into a mad older man.

1 comment:

LaLa said...

I LOVE that poem!