When, drawn behind his lamplight and shut doors,
his windows dumb and his day carpeted,
the miser contemplation glowers within
his jealous web (and winding silence pores
on toys of Nothing in that golden shade),
or falls to mapping knowledge by the coin,
or counts himself in poems; when he stands
in his own image on the glass of prayer:
whatever asks a secrecy of hands,
or wedded patience of the tower of cards,
his wild familiars trouble; he will hear
the mouse-eyed amorous eavesdropping birds.

Oh birds whose homely wings flutter his pane,
cry back your brothers on the weather's wing
wrestling in red air, tassel-hovering, twined
in the blue patterns of the shoals of sun;
cry back the whistle of their flight, their song
in the torn evening trailing like threads of wind.
He knows their picaresque employment; he
has watched from the wife-lintel of his door
that eloquence of breath, and how the tree
streams bowing through its amethyst: but all
his care and cunning have been bound (no more
those echoing coloured miles) within the wall.