16 MAY 1931, Page 16


THERE was a soldier wise enough Even in fierce Homeric years To leave the wars : within his casque He let the silkworm spin and bask, And vines grow tendrils round the spears.

One veteran village, Pye-on-Wold, Has such a vast Homeric sleep From wars and tumults, and a scorn For what this age of brass has borne In place of cities laid a-heap.

There robins line the letter-box, Badgers ignore the mighty Press, Except for lining holes ; the swift Cuts coolly through a lesson's drift, And teaches grace through idleness.

The wires are washing-lines for clouds, Idlest when swallow-hosts decamp ; And with a disregard sublime For learning, bees have left the lime And swarm the never-lighted lamp.