An Addison's controversy?

The monument described below by Rev. Dr. Michael Ward might make "What the Bird Said Early in the Year" Lewis's most famous poem. Mr. Ward did not mention the fact that this 12-line version of Lewis's 14-line poem was never published until after Lewis's death. Lewis titled his original poem "Chanson D'Aventure" and published it in The Oxford Magazine on 10 February 1938:

Chanson D'Adventure

I heard in Addison's Walk a bird sing clear
'This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.

'Winds will not strip the blossom from the apple trees
This year, nor want of rain destroy the peas.

'This year time's nature will no more defeat you,
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.

'This summer will not lead you round and back
To autumn, one year older, by the well-worn track.

'Often deceived, yet open once again your heart,
The gates of good adventure swing apart.

'This time, this time, as all these flowers foretell,
We shall escape the circle and undo the spell.'

I said, 'This might prove truer than a bird can know;
And yet your singing will not make it so.'

(Next post... the poem recorded on the monument)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why has no one protested the new version? Are there no gatekeepers?

Roger R... said...

Not sure what you mean 'Anonymous'... can you enlighten me please?