IN OLD ENGLAND
The sun was at its most restful level,
just before sunset when its rays are slanting,
and everything glows. The yellow stone
of the parish church seemed warm and alive,
and the gravestones in its ancient yard
threw long shadows over the mounds.
I never saw such a patched-up church,
a mixture of styles, each one
interrupted by an addition
before it had a chance
to follow out its lines.
Arches grew out of each other
like suckers on a stump;
its windows had grown cataracts
and were quite blind.
I walked to the village in the evening,
and from a distance the sight
of the spire felt momentous,
the yew trees black
against an electric blue sky
where one star twinkled
past the tip of the steeple.
I thought, if only I could play piano
the way I felt, I'd be worth listening to!
It felt romantic to walk up and down streets
where the half-timbered houses
were blue in the twilight,
and here and there a light shone in a kitchen
where a table was laid for supper.
That night I lay in bed in a brown room
and watched the moon come up
over my windowsill,
and the next morning the sun
did the same stunt in the same place.