About the town.

Around me is the sound of steepled bells,

And rich perfumed smells

Hang like a wind-forgotten cloud,

And shroud

Me from close contact with the world.

I dwell impearled.

You blazon me with jewelled insignia.

A flaming nebula

Rims in my life. And yet

You set

The word upon me, unconfessed

To go unguessed.

A Petition

I pray to be the tool which to your hand

Long use has shaped and moulded till it be

Apt for your need, and, unconsideringly,

You take it for its service. I demand

To be forgotten in the woven strand

Which grows the multi-coloured tapestry

Of your bright life, and through its tissues lie

A hidden, strong, sustaining, grey-toned band.

I wish to dwell around your daylight dreams,

The railing to the stairway of the clouds,

To guard your steps securely up, where streams

A faery moonshine washing pale the crowds

Of pointed stars. Remember not whereby

You mount, protected, to the far-flung sky.

A Blockhead

Before me lies a mass of shapeless days,

Unseparated atoms, and I must

Sort them apart and live them. Sifted dust

Covers the formless heap. Reprieves, delays,

There are none, ever. As a monk who prays

The sliding beads asunder, so I thrust

Each tasteless particle aside, and just

Begin again the task which never stays.

And I have known a glory of great suns,

When days flashed by, pulsing with joy and fire!

Drunk bubbled wine in goblets of desire,

And felt the whipped blood laughing as it runs!

Spilt is that liquor, my too hasty hand

Threw down the cup, and did not understand.


Dearest, forgive that with my clumsy touch

I broke and bruised your rose.

I hardly could suppose

It were a thing so fragile that my clutch

Could kill it, thus.

It stood so proudly up upon its stem,

I knew no thought of fear,

And coming very near

Fell, overbalanced, to your garment's hem,

Tearing it down.

Now, stooping, I upgather, one by one,

The crimson petals, all

Outspread about my fall.

They hold their fragrance still, a blood-red cone

Of memory.

And with my words I carve a little jar

To keep their scented dust,

Which, opening, you must

Breathe to your soul, and, breathing, know me far

More grieved than you.


An arid daylight shines along the beach

Dried to a grey monotony of tone,

And stranded jelly-fish melt soft upon

The sun-baked pebbles, far beyond their reach

Sparkles a wet, reviving sea. Here bleach

The skeletons of fishes, every bone

Polished and stark, like traceries of stone,

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