A Night Attack
Be still. The bleeding night is in suspense
Of watchful agony and coloured thought,
And every beating vein and trembling sense,
Long-tired with time, is pitched and overwrought.
And for the eye,
The darkness holds strange forms.
Soft movements in the leaves, and wicked glows
That wait and peer. The whole black landscape
With shapes of white and grey that no one knows;
And for the ear, a sound, a pause, a breath.
The hand has touched the slimy face of death.
The mind is raking at the ragged past.
……A sound of rifles rattles from the south,
and startled orders move from mouth to mouth.