Dead of night and dark of moon
midst old sleepers' groans, owl’s swift round tympanic flute,
creaks in the writhing dark, egg’s fear, and qualm,
in chimed rhymed quarters from the clock's high shelf
the hours drop.
Like petals from an ageing palm
we sweep up them in tidy sums;
but we would inchant and cast them to the sun
to dance them back to nascent light
when first they spread their soul against our sky
if we might play again in faded fields
that freshened senses in dawn’s dew.
The sun, my big brother, still hails anew,
and shouts night's serpents to disarray
and smiles to see the wild rose in the morning.
His woof I know, his subatomic particles well-alleged
but no dullard he, nor commoner
whence first discerned, his circle paused discrete
to start an urchin higher than the grass.
Now have I sailed and soared and trod
high currents on the rushing deep
o'er crags and chasms of earth's sweet stuff
and viewed the planets from a magnet's eye;
but my feet are bare on my own bournes
when morning shines in children's eyes.
The day shines and overruns its passing,
Roll, roll, rolling earth, hour-roller.