Two By The River – H. K. Dell

The George Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition
1969 Crabbe Memorial Competition – First Prize
Adjudicators: P Hardiman-Scott, J. Murray Simpson, W.W. Wickett

They tell me that they found him shot beside the river
Last summer. Nothing had gone right for him,
Strange that I had stayed there, known him forty years ago.
       . . . . . . . . . . .
In the water meadows, by the river,
“Look up, Look up, see the first star quiver!
      ‘Star light, star bright,
      First star seen tonight,
      I wish I may, I wish I might,
      Get the wish I wish tonight.’
Now hold my hand, and both wish together,
Wish the same wish for ever and ever!
Moon daisies! Give me one, I’ll learn my lot.
He loves me, he loves me, he loves me not!
This year, next year, some time, never. Never!
Throw it away. Throw it in the river.
Let the current take it along its course.
Hark, a shot- on the hill, among the gorse
Where the rabbits run. Something chokes for breath;
And there’s a shooting star. That means a death.
Race you to the bridge!” The trees sigh, shiver,
Shadows gather and mist shrouds the river
       . . . . . . . .
Forty years ago and only I can remember,
Only he and I were there together.
Only a few more years; then no one will remember.

Copyright © H.K.Dell 1969




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