THE boy still small enough to be kissed
Walks a wild world of silver mist,
The tame men he is following there
Breathe out wings each side their hair,
Their lanterns stab out starry holes
In the night, and aureoles
Wheel around them as they swing.
Far off, the hounds the boy knew sing
Like demons from the moon’s dark side,
And the echoes roll out wide.
Now the thing with needle nose
That dredges ponds with silver toes
For his supper leaves the world
And at the tree top trembles curled
Around a branch. His beads of eyes
Catch the lanterns, grow in size,
Catch afire with deep hate
At the snuffling and the great
Animals that nose his tree
Among false stars that wander free.
The boy who should have been abed
Hears the stab and sees the red
Fire reach straight to its mark.
Down comes the dainty and the dark
Creature beautiful and lost,
Creature with the rings like frost
Scrolled around his tail, and lies
In the lantern light and dies.
And the boy is first to stroke
The wildness ebbing from his cloak.