The snails brush silver. Critic crow
points his unpleasant beak, and lances.
Resumes his treetop, darts below
his acid-bright, corrosive glances.
In the hushed corridors of sleep
Professor Eisenbart plots treason.
Caretaker mind prepares to sweep
the dusty offices of reason.
Eisenbart mutters, wakes in rage
Because crow’s jarring c-a-a-r-k-s distress him.
His mistress grins, refers to age
and other matters which oppress him.
He scowls purse-lipped. She yawns, and throws
Her arms in scarecrow crucifixion.
Clear of the hills, light’s wafer shows
In world-without-end benediction.
She makes him tea. He sips and calms
His Royal Academic temper,
While Life and Day outside shout psalms
In antiphon ... Et nunc et semper.
Gwen Harwood's Other Poems
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