How bittersweet it is, on winter’s night,
To listen, by the sputtering, smoking fire,
As distant memories, through the fog-dimmed light,
Rise, to the muffled chime of churchbell choir.
Lucky the bell — still full and deep of throat,
Clear-voiced despite its years, strong, eloquent —
That rings, with faithful tongue, its pious note
Like an old soldier, wakeful, in his tent!
My soul lies cracked; and when, in its despair,
Pealing, it tries to fill the cold night air
With its lament, it often sounds, instead,
Like some poor wounded wretch — long left for dead
Beneath a pile of corpses, lying massed
By bloody pool — rattling, gasping his last.
A winter’s horror: smoke and stillness, faded incense and the metallic tang of blood.
There are no reviews yet.