Exspes

Original Text: 
John Swinnerton Phillimore, Poems (Glasgow: James MacLehose, 1902): 42. PR 6031 H565P6 Robarts Library
2    Here where dull day from night scarce diff'rent pales,
3    And fog as grisly as a dead man's nails
4Freezes opaquely at the window pane;
5Here where the laughter and the living eye
6    Of dormant water, blind and mute beneath
7    The black ice-shell, like spirits after death
8Steal unadmired their passage. Down the sky
9Like fruitless seed of seasons overblown,
10    The fluff-winged atomies tumble and amass,
11    Muffling the pale and sapless winter grass
12Under a clammy still oblivion.
13Too slight to fall, we drift with every phase,
14    We start and scuffle, playthings of the air;
15    Then with a shuddering whisper of despair
16Go out like snowflakes in a woodman's blaze.

Notes

1] Exspes: `without hope' (Latin). Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2005
Rhyme: 
Form: