English Poem “Crossing the Frontier:” of poet Alec Derwent Hope complete poem with summery for Students.

Crossing the Frontier:

Alec Derwent Hope

Crossing the frontier they were stopped in time,

Told, quite politely, they would have to wait:

Passports in order, nothing to declare

And surely holding hands was not a crime

Until they saw how, ranged across the gate,

All their most formidable friends were there.

Wearing his conscience like a crucifix,

Her father, rampant, nursed the Family Shame;

And, armed wlth their old-fashioned dinner-gong,

His aunt, who even when they both were six,

Had just to glance towards a childish game

To make them feel that they were doing wrong.

And both their mothers, simply weeping floods,

Her head-mistress, his boss, the parish priest,

And the bank manager who cashed their cheques;

The man who sold him his first rubber-goods;

Dog Fido, from whose love-life, shameless beast,

She first observed the basic facts of sex.

They looked as though they had stood there for hours;

For years – perhaps for ever. In the trees

Two furtive birds stopped courting and flew off;

While in the grass beside the road the flowers

Kept up their guilty traffic with the bees.

Nobody stirred. Nobody risked a cough.

Nobody spoke. The minutes ticked away;

The dog scratched idly. Then, as parson bent

And whispered to a guard who hurried in,

The customs-house loudspeakers with a bray

Of raucous and triumphant argument

Broke out the wedding march from Lohengrin.

He switched the engine off: We must turn back.

She heard his voice break, though he had to shout

Against a din that made their senses reel,

And felt his hand, so tense in hers, go slack.

But suddenly she laughed and said: Get out!

Change seatsl Be quickl and slid behind the wheel.

And drove the car straight at them with a harsh,

Dry crunch that showered both with scraps and chips,

Drove through them; barriers rising let them pass

Drove through and on and on, with Dad’s moustache

Beside her twitching still round waxen lips

And Mother’s tears still streaming down the glass.”

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