Some may disagree, but I think that Charlotte Mew and A. E. Housman do have something in common: their love poetry is nearly always about either unrequited love or love requited, but lost. The following poem by Mew seems to depart from the pattern. Still, I seem to detect a specter of future loss hovering at the edges. But perhaps I am being unfairly pessimistic. I would not wish to deprive Mew of any happiness she was able to find.
The Road to Kerity
Do you remember the two old people we passed on the road to Kerity,
Resting their sack, on the stones, by the drenched wayside,
Looking at us with their lightless eyes through the driving rain and then
To the rocks and the long white line of the tide:
Frozen ghosts that were children once, husband and wife, father and
Looking at us with those frozen eyes --; have you ever seen anything quite
so chilled or so old?
But we -- with our arms about each other,
We did not feel the cold!
Charlotte Mew, The Farmer's Bride (1921). Kerity is a sea-side village in Brittany. Please note that lines 3, 5, and 6 are single lines, but the length limitations of this format do not permit them to appear as such.
The following poem is, alas, more in keeping with the way Mew's life turned out. But here is the proverbial rub: poetry is oftentimes born of sadness, isn't it?
I so liked Spring
I so liked Spring last year
Because you were here; --
The thrushes too --
Because it was these you so liked to hear --
I so liked you --
This year's a different thing, --
I'll not think of you --
But I'll like Spring because it is simply Spring
As the thrushes do.
Charlotte Mew, The Rambling Sailor (1929).