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Fires -- Joseph Campbell

(Poem #338) Fires
  The little fires that Nature lights --
  The scilla's lamp, the daffodil --
  She quenches, when of stormy nights
  Her anger whips the hill.

  The fires she lifts against the cloud --
  The irised bow, the burning tree --
  She batters down with curses loud,
  Nor cares that death should be.

  The fire she kindles in the soul --
  The poet's mood, the rebel's thought --
  She cannot master, for their coal
  In other mines is wrought.
-- Joseph Campbell
Today's poem is not particularly good poetry; what it is is truly lovely
verse. The interplay of the punctuation and the rhythm, the highlighted
second line and the short fourth one, the gently rippling iambics combine to
give the poem an almost musical effect.


Biographical note:

Joseph Campbell (Seosamh MacCathmhaoil)

Joseph Campbell was born in Belfast in 1881, and is not only a poet but an
artist; he made all the illustrations for The Rushlight (1906), a volume of
his own poems. Writing under the Gaelic form of his name, he has published
half a dozen books of verse, the most striking of which is The Mountainy
Singer, first published in Dublin in 1909.

        -- Louis Untermeyer

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