They who by February mist, by March
blue-gashing in the cold new-nippled boughs,
loved under day or under the dark brows
of sheetless night, poised their brief-straining arch
at Now of Maybe-never: by Easter grace
awhile were given time, and Time, and place.

Closed on each other's flesh as flowers close
upon themselves, how should they sense or care
when the black moth their paraclete spread there
a sparked eclipse of wings on thorn and rose?
Fires have more colour, overshaded; peace
more purity when song and cradle cease.

But instruments, as well as echoes, die?
Still, in the quiet of the fugue that failed
(the stops immovable, a wold that wailed
the vox humana down, the couplers wry,
the swell unanswering), upon the score
entry and answer sang as theretofore.

So many modes in which to fail and fear!
Though all he planned as music be unplayed,
all given time be lost, all fire mislaid,
they read the printed chords they cannot hear,
move with their thought the unsounding keys, and light
with silent verse the lamps of Easter night.