The frost stings sweetly with a burning kiss
As intimate as love, as cold as death.
"The Sisters," lines 13-14
The timeless, surly patience of the serf
That moves the nearest to the naked earth
And ploughs down palaces, and thrones, and towers.
"The Serf," lines 12-14
We shall not meet again: over the wave
Our ways divide, and yours is straight and endless –
But mine is short and crooked to the grave:
Yet what of these dark crowds, amid whose flow
I battle like a rock, aloof and friendless –
Are not their generations, vague and endless,
The waves, the strides, the feet on which I go?
"Tristan da Cunha," lines 97-103
With white tails smoking free,
Long streaming manes, and arching necks, they show
Their kinship to their sisters of the sea –
And forward hurl their thunderbolts of snow.
Still out of hardships bred,
Spirits of power and beauty and delight
Have ever on such frugal pastures fed
And loved to course with tempests through the night.
Roy Campbell was one of the very few great poets of our time. His poems are of great stature, and have a giant's strength and power of movement. They have, too, an extraordinary sensuous beauty. Everything is transformed to greatness.