Even though he worked in government until the age of 58, C. H. Sisson (1914-2003) wrote a prodigious amount of poetry (both his own and translations) and prose. He certainly was not unknown or unrecognized during his lifetime, but I believe that his work does not receive the attention it deserves.
My life is given over to follies
More than I can exaggerate:
If I told you half you would imagine
That I am a very respectable person.
First, there is the folly of earning money
In order to have what is called independence:
You can admire that quality if you will,
I know what it is and do not admire it.
Secondly, there is the folly of spending it wisely,
So much for insurance, so much for the house,
Suitable provision for the children's education
Which for the most part they would rather not have.
Thirdly there would be, if that were not in fact all,
The supervening graces of domestic virtue
Everything paid up, honest as the day
But I am nearest to my own language in sleep.
A wonderful poem, and perhaps something of a surprise coming from a man who was described in the Daily Telegraph's obituary as "a doughty defender of traditional Anglicanism," whose "unfashionable high Tory views and . . . deeply-felt patriotism meant that he never found favour with the Left-liberal establishment, whose follies were a frequent theme of both his poetry and prose writings." (A man after my own heart!) Another fine poem in the same vein is "Money."
However, I do not wish to misrepresent Sisson's breadth and depth by citing these two somewhat acerbic poems (not that Sisson ever failed to call things as he saw them) -- they just happen to be long-time favorites of mine. I could easily have begun with poems that have as their subjects the natural world, the classical world, theology, philosophy, or history. (Throughout, he has a wicked sense of humor.) There are more than 300 poems in his Collected Poems (published by Carcanet in 1998), so where does one begin?
Exactly: where the winter was
The spring has come: I see her now
In the fields, and as she goes
The flowers spring, nobody knows how.
The Mind of Man
The mind of man is nothing but
A repertoire of what is not,
Never was, and can never be:
So, at least, it is with me.