When I went down the gallery,
A million shapes of clay
Stood in the selfsame way
Upon their pedestàls of ebony,
Low in the road under the withering hedge
They stand, the woman drearyand thin shouldered.
The three small ragged boys,—and the white faces
They lift to the high hedge are blotched with cold.
Coming up the path behold
A pedlar bent and very old.
With round dark eye,
A black bag in his small right hand.
For me, your lover, life is a great room
Scattered with your belongings, and I see
Nothing you have not touched, and whoso comes
Carries your messages, and who departs
As we sat in dim firelight,
You and I, when starless night
Pressed against the cottage wall,
And the flames wrought webs of dreaming,
Now we in the small stable watched with Death,
Death that stood hesitant, where rusty gold
Old Stalwart's flanks gleamed dimly mid a throng
Of crowding shadows; for the storm-lamp burned
Little ones, guileless ones,
So fair and dainty.
All the guests are gathered here.
Come and acquaint ye.
Good-night, good-night, the log bums low.
The nodding shadows nod more slow.
Lift, and fall, and die ;
The night hangs drear.
Out of the clear starlight,
Into a tunnel of night.
Muffling closie, falling steep.
Boughs stir above the place.
That thin denuded ghost, the winter sun,
Wrapped in pale melancholy as a shroud.
Crept low through skies of dun,
Till mist-befogged he sank in a red shame ;