Hugh Sykes Davies

(1909-1984 / Yorkshire, England)

Music in an Empty House Poem by Hugh Sykes Davies


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 3, 2003

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