Guest poem sent in by Vikram Doctor
(Poem #728) from The Dog Beneath The Skin
Now through night's caressing grip Earth and all her oceans slip, Capes of China slide away From her fingers into day And the Americas incline Coasts towards her shadow line. Now the ragged vagrants creep Into crooked holes to sleep: Just and unjust, worst and best, Change their places as they rest: Awkward lovers lie in fields Where disdainful beauty yields: While the splendid and the proud Naked stand before the crowd And the losing gambler gains And the beggar entertains: May sleep's healing power extend Through these hours to our friend. Unpursued by hostile force, Traction engine, bull or horse Or revolting succubus; Calmly till the morning break Let him lie, then gently wake.
Another Auden poem, another lullaby. This shows Auden's ability with the simplest of poems - just a matchless word picture of our 'swiftly tilting planet' (have we had Aiken's Senlin poem?), infused with that unique feeling of tenderness and protectiveness that anyone who has watched someone one loves sleeping will know. Vikram