Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

A conversation between the Isis and the Cherwell
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Isis:

"My muscled eights and raucous coxes ride
Splendid upon my swan-bedizened tide;
Lock-keepers' lawns march primly to my brim,
Where squealing boys and quacking mallards swim;
My blazoned barges, thick with blazered oars,
Creak ominously in their ancient floors,
And Salters' steamers, packed and panting, say:
'This is the life: one long bank holiday'"

Cherwell:

My moorhens steer their chicks where whiskered voles
Slip silent from their reed-enshrouded holes,
Where brilliant purple-fingered loosestrife keeps
Watch on its quivering image in my deeps,
And arrowy kingfishers flash sudden jade
And sapphire lightning through my tunnelled shade.
Dance dragonfly; bud lily; whitethroat sing:
'This is the life: one long enchanted Spring'"


Oxford Times, 5 January 1962