Saturday, September 05, 2009

Elinor Morton Wylie

I. The Little Clock

Half-past-four and the first bird waking,
Falling on my heart like a thin green leaf.
If you are alive, your heart is breaking,
If you are dead, you are done with grief.

Half-past-five and the birds singing sweetly,
World washed silver with the rain and the wind.
If you are a saint, you have lived discreetly,
If you are a sinner, you have surely sinned.

Half-past-seven and the birds singing madly;
Sun flames up in the sky like a lark,
If there are things to remember sadly,
Wait and remember them after dark.


A white well
In a black cave;
A bright shell
In a dark wave.

A white rose
Black brambles hood;
Smooth bright snows
In a dark wood.

A flung white glove
In a dark fight;
A white dove
On a wild black night.

A white door
In a dark lane;
A bright core
To bitter black pain.

A white hand
Waved from dark walls;
In a burnt black land
Bright waterfalls.

A bright spark
Where black ashes are;
In the smothering dark
One white star.

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