Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Poetry - John Freeman

John Freeman was one of the Georgian poets of the early 20th century. I have to say I've never heard of him but this lovely poem, I Have Never Loved You Yet, caught my eye as I was browsing my anthology yesterday. That's what I love about this book, Everyman's Book of English Love Poems. There are so many obscure poets here. If any poetry lovers are interested, there are lots of cheap secondhand copies available here. I haven't discovered much more about John Freeman, I can't even find a picture so I've chosen one of my own photos of my garden. Although autumn is about to arrive here, it's spring in the northern hemisphere so the snowdrops are appropriate.
According to Theresa Whistler, the biographer of Walter de la Mare, one of Freeman's contemporaries, Freeman was "tall, ugly, gangling, solemn, punctilious." However, she also describes him as endearing & Edward Thomas called him "a kind of angel."

I have never loved you yet, if now I love.

If Love was born in that bright April sky
And ran unheeding when the sun was high,
And slept as the moon sleeps through Autumn nights
While those clear steady stars burn in their heights:

If Love so lived and ran and slept and woke
And ran in beauty when each morning broke,
Love yet was boylike, fervid and unstable,
Teased with romance, not knowing truth from fable.

But Winter after autumn comes and stills
The petulent waters and the wild mind fills
With silence; and the dark and cold are bitter,
O, bitter to remember past days sweeter.

Then Spring with one warm cloudy finger breaks
The frost and the heart's airless black soil shakes;
Love grown a man uprises, serious, bright
With mind remembering now things dark and light.

O, if young Love was beautiful, Love grown old,
Experienced and grave is not grown cold.
Life's faithful fire in Love's heart burns the clearer
With all that was, is and draws darkling nearer.

I have never loved you yet, if now I love.


  1. Replies
    1. It is beautiful, isn't it? I do enjoy finding a new poem every week, especially the obscure ones like this.

  2. I am having one of those dark maudlin days when the world can seem like such a horrible place...then I read your post. Lyn you have such a talent for finding lost gems like this poem. It really is beautiful and so eloquent. I am going to leave the world behind for a bit now and lose myself in a book. Becks x

    1. I'm sorry you're having a bad day, Rebecca, but I'm glad the poem helped. Books are sometimes the best solace when it all gets too much, aren't they?