- Poem: WINTER NIGHT.
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ROAMS the East wind across a midnight sky,
And shapes of cloud, transparent, curdled, white,
Like homing spirits take their lowly flight
Before his breath; but glittering on high
A throb of winter stars doth chequer heaven with light.
Here, underneath the Hunter, all is still,
And silver Sirius sparkles at his feet;
While nearer, children of the earth, they fleet--
Those sad, etiolate clouds along the hill--
As though our dead returned their native land to greet.
How may one slumber, how the curtain close
And shut them out and turn to blessed rest,
While, panging like a poison in the breast,
Their agony for ever flows and flows?
By day, by night they fall our bravest and our best.
O little clouds, the stars ye cannot hide,
Yet shadow in your impotence a plea
Mightier than all the night's immensity
Hath power to conjure of her pomp and pride:
The claim of men who die that man may still go free.
Your vapours sink to earth; down from his height,
Flashing red gold, each ancient star departs;
Chill Eurus droops at dawn's approaching darts;
For clouds and stars and winds shall pass with night;
The ever living dead shine on within our hearts.