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Poems by Isaac Rosenberg

EARLIER POEMS Only that

EARLIER POEMS Only that he has never heard of sleep, And when the cats come out the rats are sly, Here we are safe till he slinks in at dawn. But he has gnawed a fibre from strange roots, And in the morning some pale wonder ceases. Things are not strange ; and strange things are forgetful. ' Ah If the day were arid, somehow lost Out of us ; but it is as hair of us, And only in the hush no wind stirs it, And in the light vague trouble lifts and breathes, And restlessness still shadows the lost ways. The fingers shut on voices that pass through Where blind farewells are taken easily. Ah, this miasma of a rotting God ' 183

POEMS BY ISAAC ROSENBERG SLEEP Godhead's lip hangs When our pulses have no golden tremors, And his whips are flicked by mice And all star-amorous things. Drops, drops of shivering quiet Filter under my lids. Now only am I powerful. What though the cunning gods outwit us her In daytime and in playtime, Surely they feel the gyves we lay on them In our sleep. O, subtle gods lying hidden ! (), gods with your oblique eyes ! Your elbows in the dawn, and wrists Bright with the afternoon, Do you not shake when a mortal slides Into your own unvexed peace ? 184

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