English poetry

Poems in English



When it was autumn in Eden

When it was autumn in Eden
And chestnuts held golden leaves
Against dimming light,
Eve touched her toes on the sodden
Soil – ran fingers through harvest sheaves
– feeling all things were right :
And hip and haw turned red – the sloe to dusk
And swallows gathered in flocks with waitful wings.

Then an east wind blew – quite sudden
Leaves of the beech – the ash
Withered and fell,
And beyond the branches of Eden
The grey clouds split with a gash
Like a hint of hell :
And the hedgehog delved in the mould,
Whilst the swallows flew south.

It was then that Eve first sensed
Warmth had gone out of the air
– abruptly she felt alone
Unnerved by the strange immense
Vastness – was it despair? –
Bird song became subdued and changed its tone,
And somehow it troubled her mind
That the trees were leafless now.

At once she went and searched
For Adam, setting her sights
On a trembling star ;
Moving tight lips she beseeched
God that all heaven’s lights
Shine from afar ;
But she had to grope on – confused
– bemused by forebodings of pain.

At last she found him there
Close by their bower – in thoughtful mood
Lit by dim light ;
And at that sight all her despair
Melted, her mind felt imbued
With warmth, joy, comfort, delight
That he was her master still
And she his only love.

He stroked that long cool hair
Which broke in waves to her hips,
Kissed tears from her eyes ;
And she, without one care,
Gave him her cheeks and her lips
Freely – her breasts – her thighs
– the everything of herself gave as a gift
– the perfect present to seal their love.

And that strange venomous thing
Perched on the Tree of Life
Looked down on the pair,
And, though aware of the poison in his sting
Shortly to usher forth all hate – all strife
Emptiness and despair,


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Poem When it was autumn in Eden - Ian Emberson