At the hour of the witch

At the hour of the witch
When few dim stars look down
The bells and I keep watch
Above this town .

Quarter by clear quarter
The wakeful chimes consort :
“Waste not on toys frail creature ,
A life too short ;

In this late , perfect hour ,
Snatched from our master , Time ,
Make something nobler here
Than idle rhyme . ”

Warn me not , gentle chimes :
Your wish is vain , for I
When the sweet stirring comes
Must rhyme or die .

12 December 1952

The Saltyre

The Saltyre

Stay , though to bid you stay I have no claim
Here , now , we meet ;
The upward climb
Will bring us out of sight
But more with time .
Sweet soul , once seen , now ever my lost mate ,
Our sudden joy deserved a world of light ,
No tomb .

Here at the intersection of our ways
In silence pause :
Master most wise
That I may rightly see
Grant me pure eyes :
Grant me this passing hour to hold in poise
What might have been , was not , and will not be ;
What is .

9 December 1952