Fred Beake: ODE FOR AN ENGLISH MILLENIUM

The patient tide of whose heart
    is the murmur of our sea
moves inutterably in the stark
    crystal of eternity

and shifts the fallible iniquity
    into a bad-eyed dream
for the posterity that shall be
    different from all we've known or been.

The essense of our material pride
    waxed wild in Hereward
after the arrow brushed the King's helmet aside
    and stone of old churches was overturned.

The poet sang beauty in a London dawn
    though love-hurt himself, and knowing corruption gnawed
the vital organs of a humorous nation.
    I stand as it were on an onanous shore

seared by the sensible doing of little things
    the return of the poor
the insidious niceness of commercial wrong
    blank indifference to past or future.

Send us some inner outlaw
    send us some dream of love
not little things through a magic door
    nor Eros as brother to War

but a mental wood where men may find
    a place of faith against the dark
sure enough to roar with the boughs in a high wind
    and forget the thorny wastes and the sun burning

and when Spring comes with its tide of despair
    and there are seeds impossibly to rear
let us speak of Alfred, broken in war,
    or of a young princess for whom the block was near.