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The Taxi

When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
And shout into the ridges of the wind.

Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
And the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.
Why should I leave you,
To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night?

Night Clouds

The white mares of the moon rush along the sky

Beating their golden hoofs upon the glass heavens;

The white mares of the moon are all standing on their hind legs

Pawing at the green porcelain doors of the remote heavens

Fly, Mares!

Strain your utmost

Scatter the milky dust of stars,

Or the tiger sun will leap upon you and destroy you

With one lick of his vermilion tongue.

Crépuscule du Matin

All night I wrestled with a memory

Which knocked insurgent at the gates of thought.

The crumbled wreck of years behind has wrought

Its disillusion; now I only cry

For peace, for power to forget the lie

Which hope too long has whispered. So I sought

The sleep which would not come, and night was fraught

With old emotions weeping silently.

I heard your voice again, and knew the things

Which you had promised proved an empty vaunt.

I felt your clinging hands while night's broad wings

Cherished our love in darkness. From the lawn

A sudden, quivering birdnote, like a taunt.

My arms held nothing but the empty dawn.

The garden by moonlight

A black cat among roses,

Phlox, lilac-misted under a first-quarter moon,

The sweet smells of heliotrope and night-scented stock.

The garden is very still,

It is dazed with moonlight,

Contented with perfume,

Dreaming the opium dreams of its folded poppies.

Firefly lights open and vanish

High as the tip buds of the golden glow

Low as the sweet alyssum flowers at my feet.

Moon-shimmer on leaves and trellises,

Moon-spikes shafting through the snow ball bush.

Only the little faces of the ladies’ delight are alert and staring,

Only the cat, padding between the roses,

Shakes a branch and breaks the chequered pattern

As water is broken by the falling of a leaf.

Then you come,

And you are quiet like the garden,

And white like the alyssum flowers,

And beautiful as the silent sparks of the fireflies.

Ah, Beloved, do you see those orange lilies?

They knew my mother,

But who belonging to me will they know

When I am gone.