Ivor Gurney

Hedger

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To me the A Major Concerto has been dearer
Than ever before, because I saw one weave
Wonderful patterns of bright green, never clearer
Of April; whose hand nothing at all did deceive
Of laying right
The stakes bright
Green lopped-off spear-shaped,
and stuck notched, crooked-up;
Wonder was quickened at workman’s craftsmanship
But clumsy were the efforts of my stiff body
To help him in the laying of bramble, ready
Of mind, but clumsy of muscle in helping; rip
Of clothes unheeded, torn hands.
And his quick moving
Was never broken by any danger, his loving
Use of the bill or scythe was most deft, and clear—
Had my piano-playing or counterpoint
Been so without fear
Then indeed fame had been mine
of most bright outshining;
But never had I known singer or piano-player
So quick and sure in movement as this hedge-layer
This gap-mender, of quiet courage unhastening.


Mozart: Piano Concerto No.23 in A major, K.488

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Ivor Gurney