Peter Russell Poems
In The Campo De La Bragola
Sleep, sleep, with thy broken keys
Till Pilate wash his hands -
The time is cracked and memory flees
Bright afternoons of other lands.
What were thy once-tuned strings,
Childhood and fluting boy? -
Mornings of swift protecting wings,
Noons flecked with joy.
Blindly the hunter bat the twilight scours
In the dark enclosure of the Square;
Green fissured bronze rings out the hours -
The crowding ghosts halt on the stair.
Barbarian night creeps on the town.
The Councillors sit late.
Tiresias has rent his gown,
And the sentries...
The air is very cold and still,
The factory-roofs remotely gleam;
The frost has etched the window-sill
With leaves and twigs as in a dream.
The atmosphere is saturated
With snow that's waiting in the sky -
Its white will be precipitated
And drop down lightly from on high-