5

Days pass by, sluggishly:
Days of devouring sunshine,
Of heat, glare and hopelessness,
And the sky is blue and monotonous,
Like a lake that sleeps,
Unruffled by restless breezes,
And unflecked with foam:
Then suddenly a tiny cloud appears,
Hovering lonely in the vast emptiness,
Like the pigmy petticoat of a babe
Swaying upon an invisible clothes-line.

Weary, waiting watchers
Rub their sun-dazzled eyes,
And gaze at the careless drifting cloud,
Gaze, in sudden fearful hope,
Gaze, until the cloud vanishes,
As a pebble tossed into a pool,
As a wayfarer sucked up by distance,
It disappears: and the tiny rag of hope,
That fluttered momentarily in their minds,
Falls, and is quickly covered
With the dry dust of despair.
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