30. Thoughts in the Small Hours


The lamp obeys my every whim

As did Aladdin’s long ago,

And it its dim

And gentle glim

It conjures up the passing show

Of other days,

For in it rays

I see again the pageantry of worlds I used to know.


There rise before my inner sight,

As clearly as when first I gazed,

Bathed in a light

Serene and bright,

That allt he years have not erased,

The faces dear

Of yesteryear,

And voices sweet I hear that once in simple songs were raised.


Around the piano, candle-lit,

The songsters warble ballads old;

And merry wit,

With smoke and spit

The list’ners in the chiollagh hold.

The violin

Beneath the chin

Exhorts the tireless dancers till the winking stars grow cold.


Another lamp, a hurricane,

Makes shadow spokes upon the tent;

First boys, and then

Uniformed men

Lie feet to pole; and merriment

Rings through the dar,

Where not a spark

Betrays where lie the enemy until the night is spent.


Nostalgia it may be, and yet

These are not creatures of a dram.

Though hearts may fret

In vain regret

For those born onward by time’s stream,

They still remain,

And will again

With happy laughter greet us where the rays of heaven beam.