Read more poems by W.H. Auden: W.H. Auden Poems at Poetry X.
A cloudless night like this Can set the spirit soaring: After a tiring day The clockwork spectacle is Impressive in a slightly boring Eighteenth-century way. It soothed adolescence a lot To meet so shamelesss a stare; The things I did could not Be so shocking as they said If that would still be there After the shocked were dead Now, unready to die Bur already at the stage When one starts to resent the young, I am glad those points in the sky May also be counted among The creatures of middle-age. It's cosier thinking of night As more an Old People's Home Than a shed for a faultless machine, That the red pre-Cambrian light Is gone like Imperial Rome Or myself at seventeen. Yet however much we may like The stoic manner in which The classical authors wrote, Only the young and rich Have the nerve or the figure to strike The lacrimae rerum note. For the present stalks abroad Like the past and its wronged again Whimper and are ignored, And the truth cannot be hid; Somebody chose their pain, What needn't have happened did. Occuring this very night By no established rule, Some event may already have hurled Its first little No at the right Of the laws we accept to school Our post-diluvian world: But the stars burn on overhead, Unconscious of final ends, As I walk home to bed, Asking what judgment waits My person, all my friends, And these United States.
Added: 13 Feb 2002 | Last Read: 26 Mar 2017 10:51 AM | Viewed: 16276 times
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