Before the War
WE have shut the doors behind us, and the velvet flowers of night
Lean about us scattering their pollen grains of golden light.
Now at last we lift our faces, and our faces come aflower
To the night that takes us willing, liberates us to the hour.
Now at last the ink and dudgeon passes from our fervent eyes
And out of the chambered weariness wanders a
spirit abroad on its enterprise.
Not too near and not too far
Out of the stress of the crowd
Music screams as elephants scream
When they lift their trunks and scream aloud
For joy of the night when masters are
Asleep and adream.
So here I hide in the Shalimar
With a wanton princess slender and proud,
And we swoon with kisses, swoon till we seem
Two streaming peacocks gone in a cloud
Of golden dust, with star after star
On our stream.