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Allen Tate

(19 November 1899 - 9 February 1979 / Winchester, Kentucky)

DITTY


The moon will run all consciences to cover,
Night is now the easy peer of day;
Little boys no longer sight the plover
Streaked in the sky, and cattle go
Warily out in search of misty hay.
Look at the blackbird, the pretty eager swallow,
The buzzard, and all the birds that sail
With the smooth essential flow
Of time through men, who fail.

For now the moon with friendless light carouses
On hill and housetop, street and marketplace,
Men will plunge, mile after mile of men,
To crush this lucent madness of the face,
Go home and put their heads upon the pillow,
Turn with whatever shift the darkness cleaves,
Tuck in their eyes, and cover
The flying dark with sleep like falling leaves.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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