In Time of War
And the age ended, and the last deliverer died.
In bed, grown idle and unhappy; they were safe:
the sudden shadow of the giant's enormous calf
would fall no more at dusk across the lawn outside.
They slept in peace: in marshes here and there no doubt
a sterile dragon lingered to a natural death,
but in a year the spoor had vanished from the heath;
the kobold's knocking in the mountain petered out.
Only the sculptors and the poets were half sad,
and the pert retinue from the magician's house
grumbled and went elsewhere. The vanished powers were glad.
To be invisible and free: without remorse
struck down the sons who strayed their course,
and ravished the daughters, and drove the fathers mad.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
silence the pianos and with muffled drum
bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let airplanes circle moaning overhead
scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
my working week and my Sunday rest,
my noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
for nothing now can ever come to any good.