The New Ghost

by Ralph Vaughan Williams From Four Poems by Fredegond Shove (1925)

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The New Ghost
English source: Fredegond Shove

And he cast it down, down, on the green grass,
Over the young crocuses, where the dew was.
He cast the garment of his flesh that was full of death,
And like a sword his spirit showed out of the cold sheath.

He went a pace or two, he went to meet his Lord
And, as I said, his spirit looked like a clean sword,
And seeing him the naked trees began shivering
And all the birds cried out aloud as it were late spring.

And the Lord came on, He came down, annd saw
That a soul was waiting there for Him, one without flaw,
And they embraced in the churchyard where the robins play,
And the daffodils hang down their heads, as they burn away.

The Lord held his head fast, and you could see
That He kissed the unsheathed ghost that was gone free
As a hot sun, on a March day, kisses the cold ground;
And the spirit answered, for he knew well that his peace was found.

The spirit trembled, and sprang up at the Lord's word,
As on a wild April day, springs a small bird,
So the ghost's feet lifting him up, he kissed the Lord's cheek,
And for the greatness of their love neither of them could speak.

But the Lord went then, to show him the way,
Over the young crocuses, under the green may
That was not quite in flower yet, to a far distant land:
And the ghost followed like a naked cloud holding the sun's hand.


Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams was an English composer. Over sixty years, he composed operas, ballets, chamber music, vocal pieces and orchestral compositions. He was strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song. Information from Wikipedia.…


Fredegond Shove

Fredegond Cecily Shove (1889–1949) was an English poet.


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