WHEN into the night the yellow light is roused like dust above the towns,
Or like a mist the moon has kissed from off a pool in the midst of the downs,
Our faces flower for a little hour pale and uncertain along the street,
Daisies that waken all mistaken white-spread in expectancy to meet
The luminous mist which the poor things wist was dawn arriving across the sky,
When dawn is far behind the star the dust-lit town has driven so high.
All the birds are folded in a silent ball of sleep,
All the flowers are faded from the asphalt isle in the sea,
Only we hard-faced creatures go round and round, and keep
The shores of this innermost ocean alive and illusory.
Wanton sparrows that twittered when morning looked in at their eyes
And the Cyprian’s pavement-roses are gone, and now it is we
Flowers of illusion who shine in our gauds, make a Paradise
On the shores of this ceaseless ocean, gay birds of the town-dark sea.