EXSPES - John Swinnerton Phillimore Poems


Poems » john swinnerton phillimore » exspes


Why sing of suns you cannot see, in vain? --
    Here where dull day from night scarce diff'rent pales,
    And fog as grisly as a dead man's nails
Freezes opaquely at the window pane;

Here where the laughter and the living eye
    Of dormant water, blind and mute beneath
    The black ice-shell, like spirits after death
Steal unadmired their passage. Down the sky

Like fruitless seed of seasons overblown,
    The fluff-winged atomies tumble and amass,
    Muffling the pale and sapless winter grass
Under a clammy still oblivion.

Too slight to fall, we drift with every phase,
    We start and scuffle, playthings of the air;
    Then with a shuddering whisper of despair
Go out like snowflakes in a woodman's blaze.