― 58 ―

Old Hop-Kilns


COWLED kilns crouching by the lonely lands, the hop lands,
Cowled kilns waiting for the freights that came of old
Spilling song and laughter where a broken line of roof stands
Wan to-day and wistful in the wane of willow-gold.

Stacked poles standing on the windy height, the green height,
Stacked poles standing bleached and bitten to the core;
Ghostly white convolvulus by morning light and moon-light
Creeps across the threshold where the dancers come no more.

May wind crooning in the rafters and the grey cowls,
May wind sobbing like a muted violin….
None o' nights to hear it now but water-hens and brown owls
Calling in the shadows when the sickle moon is thin.

May comes sadly to the haunted lands, the hop lands;
May comes sadly now the years have lost their gold….
Sadly to the patient poles like wizened wraiths of pale hands
Waiting by the cowled kilns the freights that came of old.