Louis MacNeice

The Jingles of the Morning

Shall we remember the jingles of the morning,
The pipers the pedlars and the brass farthings,
The buds of music, the imagined darlings?
    No, we shall not remember.

Shall we remember the games with puffball and plantain,
Searching for the lost handle to the silent fountain,
Hiding in the shrubbery, shutting our eyes and counting?

Shall we remember the marigolds parading,
Smell of grass and noise of the corncrake railing
And the fun of dragging a stick along the paling?

And after that shall we remember the races,
The broken tape, the clamour of companions’ voices,
The schoolboys’ callow joys in smut and curses?

And shall we remember our early adult pleasure,
The dive in love’s lagoons of brilliant azure,
The gay martyrdom, the brave fantasia?

Shall we remember the kick of inspired religion,
The visions in drink, the feel of the homing pigeon
Drawn by a magnet to an intuited region?

Shall we remember the noise of the moving nations
Or shall we remember the gutsy sun’s creations,
The night and the never-to-be-climbed-to constellations?
    No, we shall not remember.