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COWARD, Noël


I Am No Good at Love

I am no good at love

My heart should be wise and free

I kill the unfortunate golden goose

Whoever it may be

With over-articulate tenderness

And too much intensity.

I am no good at love

I batter it out of shape

Suspicion tears at my sleepless mind

And, gibbering like an ape,

I lie alone in the endless dark

Knowing there's no escape.

I am no good at love

When my easy heart I yield

Wild words come tumbling from my mouth

Which should have stayed concealed;

And my jealousy turns a bed of bliss

Into a battlefield.


I am no good at love

I betray it with little sins

For I feel the misery of the end

In the moment that it begins

And the bitterness of the last good-bye

Is the bitterness that wins.


When I Have Fears

When I have fears, as Keats had fears,

Of the moment I'll cease to be

I console myself with vanished years

Remembered laughter, remembered tears,

And the peace of the changing sea.

When I feel sad, as Keats felt sad

That my life is so nearly done

It gives me comfort to dwell upon

Remembered friends who are dead and gone

And the jokes we had and the fun

How happy they are I cannot know,

But happy I am who loved them so.


Lie in the dark and listen

Lie in the dark and listen,

It's clear tonight so they're flying high

Hundreds of them, thousands perhaps,

Riding the icy, moonlight sky.

Men, materials, bombs and maps

Altimeters and guns and charts

Coffee, sandwiches, fleece-lined boots

Bones and muscles and minds and hearts

English saplings with English roots

Deep in the earth they've left below

Lie in the dark and let them go

Lie in the dark and listen.

Lie in the dark and listen

They're going over in waves and waves

High above villages, hills and streams

Country churches and little graves

And little citizen's worried dreams.

Very soon they'll have reached the sea

And far below them will lie the bays

And coves and sands where they used to be

Taken for summer holidays.

Lie in the dark and let them go

Lie in the dark and listen.

Lie in the dark and listen

City magnates and steel contractors,

Factory workers and politicians

Soft hysterical little actors Ballet dancers,

'reserved' musicians,

Safe in your warm civilian beds

Count your profits and count your sheep

Life is flying above your heads

Just turn over and try to sleep.

Lie in the dark and let them go

Theirs is a world you'll never know

Lie in the dark and listen.