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D.H. Lawrence (1885–1930). Amores. 1916.

8. Week-night Service

THE FIVE old bells

Are hurrying and eagerly calling,

Imploring, protesting

They know, but clamorously falling

Into gabbling incoherence, never resting,

Like spattering showers from a bursten sky-rocket dropping

In splashes of sound, endlessly, never stopping.

The silver moon

That somebody has spun so high

To settle the question, yes or no, has caught

In the net of the night’s balloon,

And sits with a smooth bland smile up there in the sky

Smiling at naught,

Unless the winking star that keeps her company

Makes little jests at the bells’ insanity,

As if he knew aught!

The patient Night

Sits indifferent, hugged in her rags,

She neither knows nor cares

Why the old church sobs and brags;

The light distresses her eyes, and tears

Her old blue cloak, as she crouches and covers her face,

Smiling, perhaps, if we knew it, at the bells’ loud clattering disgrace.

The wise old trees

Drop their leaves with a faint, sharp hiss of contempt,

While a car at the end of the street goes by with a laugh;

As by degrees

The poor bells cease, and the Night is exempt,

And the stars can chaff

The ironic moon at their ease, while the dim old church

Is peopled with shadows and sounds and ghosts that lurch

In its cenotaph.