O hour of images when we sniff the herb
Of childhood and forget who we are and dream
Like whistling boys of the vast spaces
Of the Inconsistent racing towards us
With all its appealing private detail. But
Our ways are revealing; crossing the legs
Or resting the cheek in the hand, we
Hide the mouths through which the Disregarded
Will always enter. For we know we’re not boys
And never will be: part of us all hates life,
And some are completely against it.
Spring leads the truculent sailors into
The park, and the plump little girls, but none
Are determined like the tiny brains who found
The great communities of summer:
Only on battlefields, where the dying
With low voices and not very much to say
Repair the antique silence the insects broke
In an architectural passion.
Can night return to our cooling fibres.
O not even war can frighten us enough,
That last attempt to eliminate the Strange
By uniting us all in a terror
Of something known, even that’s a failure
Which cannot stop us taking our walks alone,
Scared by the unknown unconditional dark,
Down the avenues of our longing:
For however they dream they are scattered.
Our bones cannot help reassembling themselves
Into the philosophic city where dwells
The knowledge they cannot get out of;
And neither a Spring nor a war can ever
So condition his ears as to keep the song
That is not a sorrow from the Double Man.
O what weeps is the love that hears, an
Accident occurring in his substance.