Norman Nicholson's Cockley Moor, Dockray, Penrith


 Outside, the cubist fells are drawn again
Beneath the light that speaks ex tempore;      
The fur of bracken thickens in the rain           
And wrinkles shift upon the scurfy scree.

Inside, like tiles the poet’s pleasures lie,   
Square laid on circle, circle laid on square,    
And pencilled angles of eternity                     
Are calculated on the doubled stair.

Outside, the curlew gargles through the mist.
The mountain pansies shut up shop and fade,
The wheatear chisels with his crystal fist,      
And day on day like stone on stone is laid.

Inside, are cows on canvas, painted bloom
Fresh as a girl’s thin fingers burst to flower,
Bright leaves that do not fall, but fence the room
With the arrested growth of a June hour.

The curving cloud embellishes the sky,          
The geometric rain slants to the corn;        
Inside, a man remembers he must die,    
Outside a stone forgets that it was born.