To Juan at the Winter Solstice (audio only)
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Gloomy and bare the organ-loft,
Bent-backed and blind the organist.
From rafters looming shadowy,
From the pipes’ tuneful company,
Drifted together drowsily,
Innumerable, formless, dim,
The ghosts of long-dead melodies,
Of anthems, stately, thunderous,
Of Kyries shrill and tremulous:
In melancholy drowsy-sweet
They huddled there in harmony.
Like bats at noontide rafter-hung.
My familiar ghost again
Comes to see what he can see,
Critic, son of Conscious Brain,
Spying on our privacy.
Slam the window, bolt the door,
Yet he'll enter in and stay;
In to-morrow's book he'll score
Indiscretions of to-day.
Walking through trees to cool my heat and pain, I know that David’s with me here again. All that is simple, happy, strong, he is. Caressingly I stroke Rough bark of the friendly oak. A brook goes bubbling by: the voice is his. Turf burns with pleasant smoke; I laugh at chaffinch and at primroses. All that is simple, happy, strong, he is. Over the whole wood in a little while Breaks his slow smile.