Letter from town: on a grey evening in march


THE clouds are pushing in grey reluctance slowly
     northward to you,
While north of them all, at the farthest ends,
     stands one bright-bosomed, aglance
With fire as it guards the wild north cloud-coasts,
     red-fire seas running through
The rocks where ravens flying to windward melt
     as a well-shot lance.
You should be out by the orchard, where violets
     secretly darken the earth,
Or there in the woods of the twilight, with
     northern wind-flowers shaken astir.
Think of me here in the library, trying and trying
     a song that is worth
Tears and swords to my heart, arrows no armour
     will turn or deter.
You tell me the lambs have come, they lie like
     daisies white in the grass
Of the dark-green hills; new calves in shed;
     peewits turn after the plough—
It is well for you. For me the navvies work in the
     road where I pass
And I want to smite in anger the barren rock of
     each waterless brow.
Like the sough of a wind that is caught up high in
     the mesh of the budding trees,
A sudden car goes sweeping past, and I strain my
     soul to hear
The voice of the furtive triumphant engine as it
     rushes past like a breeze,
To hear on its mocking triumphance unwitting
     the after-echo of fear.


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