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To climb trees (1943)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Boyhood's End

To climb trees

To climb trees
and put my hand down in the deep hot nest of the Bienteveo
and feel the hot eggs, the five long-pointed cream-coloured eggs,
with choc’late spots and splashes at the larger end.
To lie on a grassy bank,
with the blue water between me and beds of tall bulrushes,
list’ning to the mysterious sounds of the wind
and of hidden rails and coots and courlans conversing
together in strange human-like tones:
to let my sight dwell and feast on the camaloté flower
amid its floating masses of moist vivid green leaves,
the large alamanda-like flower of a purest divine yellow that,
when plucked, leaves you with nothing but a green stem in your hand.

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Sir Michael Kemp Tippett was an English composer who rose to prominence during and immediately after the Second World War.

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