Autumn is in the air,
The children are playing everywhere.
One dare not open this old door too wide;
It is so dark inside.
The hall smells of dust;
A narrow squirt of sunlight enters high,
The floor creaks, and I hear a sigh,
Rise in the gloom and die.
Through the hall, far away,
I just can see
The dingy garden with its wall and tree.
A yellow cat is sitting on the wall
Blinking toward the leaves that fall.
And now I hear a woman call
Some child from play.
Then all is still. Time must go
Ticking slow, glooming slow.
The evening will turn grey.
It is sad in London after two.
All, all the afternoon
What can old men, old women do?
It is sad in London when the gloom
Thickens, like wool,
In the corners of the room;
The sky is shot with steel,
Shot with blue.
The bells ring the slow time;
The chairs creak, the hours climb;
The sunlight lays a streak upon the floor.
Harold Monro's Other Poems
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