Grey Evening

When you went, how was it you carried with you
My missal book of fine, flamboyant Hours?
My book of turrets and of red-thorn bowers,
And skies of gold, and ladies in bright tissue?

Now underneath a blue-grey twilight, heaped
Beyond the withering snow of the shorn fields
Stands rubble of stunted houses; all is reaped
And trodden that the happy summer yields.

Now lamps like yellow echoes glimmer among
The shadowy stubble of the under-dusk;
As farther off the scythe of night is swung
Ripe little stars come rolling from their husk.

And all the earth is gone into a dust
Of greyness mingled with a fume of gold,
Timeless as branching lichens, pale as must,
Since all the sky has withered and gone cold.

And so I sit and scan the book of grey,
Feeling the shadows like a blind man reading,
All fearful lest I find the last words bleeding:
Nay, take this weary Book of Hours away.
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