At Grass - Philip Larkin
At Grass - Philip Larkin stories

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The eye can hardly pick them out From the cold shade they shelter in,
Source: ewokalypse

At Grass - Philip Larkin

by ewokalypse

The eye can hardly pick them out

From the cold shade they shelter in,

Till wind distresses tail and main;

Then one crops grass, and moves about

- The other seeming to look on -

And stands anonymous again

Yet fifteen years ago, perhaps

Two dozen distances sufficed

To fable them: faint afternoons

Of Cups and Stakes and Handicaps,

Whereby their names were artificed

To inlay faded, classic Junes -

Silks at the start: against the sky

Numbers and parasols: outside,

Squadrons of empty cars, and heat,

And littered grass : then the long cry

Hanging unhushed 'til it subside

To stop-press columns on the street.

Do memories plague their ears like flies?

They shake their heads. Dusk brims the shadows.

Summer by summer all stole away,

The starting-gates, the crowd and cries -

All but the unmolesting meadows.

Almanacked, their names live; they

Have slipped their names, and stand at ease,

Or gallop for what must be joy,

And not a fieldglass sees them home,

Or curious stop-watch prophesies:

Only the grooms, and the grooms boy,

With bridles in the evening come.

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