by Iain James Robb

“Oh, where are you going to, O tow-haired rover?”

Though my sight turns nowhere homeward, and my mouth's run numb,

I can hear a leaflet sifting through the walls of clover;

Though I stay, I ‘m going forth and o'er to Camelot, come-

On a four winged float no sluggish wind will ship and shiver.

Though it's found, I'm searching for its brother, turned, I run

To the mounds down by the shallows that are shields forever:

Past the stark walled river gullies, that the sun's spears shun.


“Say where are you going now? The clouds are over,

But the twilight strides to you, O fair-browed child.”

I am sweeping always-eastward on a four-limbed clover-

To cross the dusk-line quadrant compass of the western wild.

Though my glide of sight be sluggard, and my touch a tremor,

Let the scents I savour make my tideless tongue turn numb:

For my bowstring's strung out, touchless, to a different quiver-

And I'm brought to motion, forth once more to Camelot; come


To where blank banners crest like crescents, ever sliding

Their virgin skirts out sail-ways, with the gales as toy:                                                           

Across the maiden mated cedars that the leaves leave, riding-

Where I am prone to going to. “Oh, sloe-eyed boy- 

Are there no willows here, for window-winds to glide in:

The currents of your flights to upward brace and buoy?”

No, none, my sill-less window frames the beige horizon:

Like a gaze that's left reflectionless of frights, or joy…


Devoid of peace comes after either, neither tranquil-

As a broken rowboat learns again bare lights to ride:

A wring-wash drifting downwards on the dappled anvil-

Of the currents' coverlét, wherein the dead sights hide:

Though I have caught a new dream now, at weightless ankle…

Floating dayward-wayward, as white riders drum-

Upon a ghost-laned throughfare no grey courts there rankle:              

A fresher Camelót, some fresh Elysium?