For Poetry Duel 18 I hinted at the start that I was going to mix it up and that is what I did!
Duel 18 featured a Robert Frost poem on the left, "Spring Pools", and "When Spring Goes By" by Duncan Campbell Scott on the right. Mr. Frost needs no introduction; Mr. Scott was famous for a while at the end of the 19th century and first half of the 20th, and may still be in his native Canada, but I had never heard of him until recently. So, technically, Duel 18 had two "famous" poets.
Frost won, rather convincingly, with an average rating of 4.0 to Mr. Scott's 3.0.
These pools that, though in forests, still reflect
The total sky almost without defect,
And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver,
Will like the flowers beside them soon be gone,
And yet not out by any brook or river,
But up by roots to bring dark foliage on.
The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods -
Let them think twice before they use their powers
To blot out and drink up and sweep away
These flowery waters and these watery flowers
From snow that melted only yesterday.
When Spring Goes By
The winds that on the uplands softly lie,
Grow keener where the ice is lingering still
Where the first robin on the sheltered hill
Pipes blithely to the tune, "When Spring goes by!"
Hear him again, "Spring! Spring!" He seems to cry,
Haunting the fall of the flute-throated rill,
That keeps a gentle, constant, silver thrill,
While he is restless in his ecstasy.
Ah! the soft budding of the virginal woods,
Of the frail fruit trees by the vanishing lakes:
There's the new moon where the clear sunset floods,
A trace of dew upon the rose leaf sky;
And hark! what rapture the glad robin wakes-
"When Spring goes by; Spring! Spring! When
Spring goes by."
Me as a critic (be careful! the harshness will be well concealed!)