Suddenly night crushed out the day and hurled Her remnants over cloud-peaks, thunder-walled. Then fell a stillness such as harks appalled When far-gone dead return upon the world. There watched I for the Dead; but no ghost woke. Each one whom Life exiled I named and called. But they were all too far, or dumbed, or thralled; And never one fared back to me or spoke. Then peered the indefinite unshapen dawn With vacant gloaming, sad as half-lit minds, The weak-limned hour when sick men’s sighs are drained. And while I wondered on their being withdrawn, Gagged by the smothering wing which none unbinds, I dreaded even a heaven with doors so chained.
Wilfred Owen - 1893-1918
I am the ghost of Shadwell Stair. Along the wharves by the water-house, And through the cavernous slaughter-house, I am the shadow that walks there. Yet I have flesh both firm and cool, And eyes tumultuous as the gems Of moons and lamps in the full Thames When dusk sails wavering down the pool. Shuddering the purple street-arc burns Where I watch always; from the banks Dolorously the shipping clanks And after me a strange tide turns. I walk till the stars of London wane And dawn creeps up the Shadwell Stair. But when the crowing syrens blare I with another ghost am lain.