Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NIGHT PIECE, by EDITH SITWELL

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

NIGHT PIECE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The shadows' saracenic hordes
Last Line: Of age and wait for the clock's cold chime.
Subject(s): Night; Bedtime

THE shadows' saracenic hordes
Overcome sweet firelight's lauds
That still seem flowering as they pray
To pictured kings that fade away.
The flickering firelight whispered "Hush!"
Flowering like a pale rose-bush,
To kings and queens in coats of mail
Melting like the first spring hail.
The cold night seems like wintry boughs, --
Calm as a nightingale's song grows
The old forgetful wind outside
That faded to a whisper, died.

* * * * *

Now shadows seem the wives, grown dim,
Of Algalath, Galgalath, Saraim,
Those negro kings . . . each nods her head
And walks through doors that lead to bed,
Nodding their dark heads adown.
Outside, leaves like a starry crown
Are clear as the splintered star ice-green
That is a crown for a negro queen.
Downstairs the household noises die,
The water seems a lullaby,
And soft snow sings among the leaves
Upon the boughs and castle eaves.

And only the fire's drowsy glow
Upon the soft bird-throats of snow
Made those feathers, bull-finch soft,
And rosy, singing from the loft.
And the shadows, negro queens, grown dim
Of Algalath, Galgalath, Saraim,
Nod their heads in the halcyon clime
Of age and wait for the clock's cold chime.

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