Hubert was an avid reader of English literature and particularly of English poetry, and he composed poems from childhood. Many were occasional poems, for births, birthdays and anniversaries; others were linked to places and events. Most are clever, light and humorous, and reflect the musical talent which he possessed in abundance. While in the 1920s he contributed a few poems to such journals as The New Witness and New Age, they were generally written for private enjoyment. This small selection is devoted to the poems he dedicated to his beloved Dora. Some carry a date and/or the occasion.
TO DORA, FOR MUSIC
18–19 February 1939, Toronto
The swan sings again,
It was not her last song.
She sails, through thickening rushes
Into the open water
Splendid as strong men swimming,
Or quiet, like a cat in a corner
Whose avenues none can follow.
The sound of her breath, her voice renewed,
A low note, a high note –
She is the one singing swan,
She will sing at my death,
And joy my mourners.
When Christmas time is coming round,
I feel my view is wrong,
For everyone is all a-bound,
Their hearts are full of song,
They yearn and itch and long!
While I would rather go to ground
Till all the glories have been found.
Here is a little extra thing
That might assist your nose,
It's black, and therefore does not ring
’gainst bag or winter/summer clothes.
(I scorned the peach and rose!)
If it encourages you to sing,
that will be, once more, everything.
It's rightly called (I'm told) compact
(of what I have no notion),
I learnt at school Latin and tact,
All about land and ocean,
Deportment and free motion.
Assisted by more lotion!
Your use will prove the name a fact;
I'll learn on seeing how you act.
It seems to me a curious toy,
As swift to pass as water,
But as you have a strapping boy,
An enviable daughter,
I offer it in hope some joy
will follow in its train some time
(I've had to change the scheme of rhyme)
And ask you to believe that I'm