For the last few days I have been happily on holiday and also unhappily ill; now allow me to rhyme a little instead:
Night, London, September
The spendthrift stars, so rich in gold,
Were distant skies and dawns untold
And night’s new easel, plain and bare,
Was fresh with unadventured air.
The treetops spoke unlikely tales
That rolled the hillsides out of Wales,
To breath beneath those clotted suns
A story fit for greenwood lungs.
Stretching back their ancient limbs
Their figures played beguiling hymns
While high the eaves of mem’ry raised
And, backwards facing, lonely gazed:
They told of Harry Monmouth’s cause
When heaven’s anvils rang with wars,
And sang a tune of King Charles’ town
Before the rebels tore him down.
They spoke in knitted oak-green tongue
Of when Paul’s new built steeples rung,
And in the bloody height of doom
When it stood bright against the gloom.
They dreamt and whispered every tale
That they had glimpsed in life’s long trail,
Of daring men and noble lords,
Of senators, and flames, and swords.
And I sat out all dreaming too
To sleep an age long over due
Beneath my quarry cleared of light;
The empty and embracing night.
The Final Hour
All of heaven with his fiery garb descended:
I knew him not but saw him plain.
He sank his heart and, sure, his day was ended
So was the happy hour, when things could start again.
It was the proper hour, when time had done his duty,
With quiet glances of the sea-wet dawn,
When things to do had passed, and day had shed his beauty
And sin had had his way with me, and left the night forlorn.
Now slow I pace through ever conquered ages
With flaming forks and terror in between;
It’s little joy for six short feet of wages
And foolish things that once had been.
Adieu, Happy Reader.