18 Mar

Oils on linen.

Painted in response to the poem Hawthorn White by Charles Causley

Hawthorn white, hawthorn red

Hanging in the garden at my head

Tell me simple, tell me true

When comes the winter what must I do?

I have a house with chimneys four

I have a silver bell on the door,

A single hearth and a single bed

Not enough, the hawthorn said.

I have a lute, I have a lyre

I have a yellow cat by my fire,

A nightingale to my tree is tied

That bird looks sick, the hawthorn sighed.

I write on paper pure as milk

I lie on sheets of shantung silk

On my green breast no sin has snowed

You'll catch your death, the hawthorn crowed.

My purse is packed with a five-pound note

The watchdogs in my garden gloat

I blow the bagpipe down my side

Better blow you're safe, the hawthorn cried.

My pulse is steady as my clock

My wits are wise as the weathercock

Twice a year we are overhauled

It's Double Summertime! the hawthorn called.

I have a horse with wings for feet

I have a chicken each day to eat

When I was born the church-bells rang

Only one at a time, the hawthorn sang

I have a cellar, I have a spread

The bronze blood runs round my bulkhead

Why is my heart as light as lead?

Love is not there, the hawthorn said.

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