33. The Truant Soul


One night I turned my lamp-wick down,

Dowsing the light, and in the dark

Prepared for sleep.  But from the town

A murmur rose like surf to drown

My hopes of rest, and left me stark.


Too many thoughts had thronged my brain,

Making a fairground with their glare.

Too many feelings left their fstrain,

Too many melodies their pain;

And I, now void, could only stare.


Numbed as with shock, and pent by thought,

I in a trance stood by the bed;

Saw my prone self by prowler caught,

A gody left where men had fought,

Living yet numbered with the dead.


Spoirit of me, not yet returned,

Still was abroad; … then brightly leapt

The flame that on the lamp-wick burned…

Again my hand its spindle turned;

This time the dark was real.  I slept.