Hugh Sykes Davies

(1909-1984 / Yorkshire, England)

Music in an Empty House


The house was empty and
      the people of the house
      gone many months

Months for the weevil
      for the patient worm
      timbe r-mole softly tunnelling
       ;for the parliament of rats

Footsteps slink past
      damp walls
      down
      long
& nbsp;     corridors
< br>Slow feet
      warily scuff
      bare boards
The much-bitten
     &nbs p;tapestry
       ;  holds
    &nb sp;     many
 &n bsp;    moths

In a certain curtain'd room
      the halting steps evade
      chai rs white shrouded

To twitch the winding-sheet
     &n bsp;around a grand piano
      thin phalanx of sound
      sharp rat's teeth edge yellow
      with decay

The much-bitten
     &nbs p;tapestry
       ;holds
      man y
      moths

On rat's teeth-edge
       ;fingers preparate
       hesitate

Then falling send
  as tenantry
    darnp-muffied chords
      rus ting strings
  a still-born song

Their fortissimoThe tattered
  scarcetapestry
  stirsholds
  nearmany
  cobwebsmoths

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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