IN the cool of the night time The clocks pick off the points And the mainsprings loosen. They will need winding. One of these days… they will need winding.
Rabelais in red boards, Walt Whitman in green, Hugo in ten-cent paper covers, Here they stand on shelves In the cool of the night time And there is nothing… To be said against them… Or for them… In the cool of the night time And the clocks.
A man in pigeon-gray pyjamas. The open window begins at his feet And goes taller than his head. Eight feet high is the pattern.
Moon and mist make an oblong layout. Silver at the man’s bare feet. He swings one foot in a moon silver. And it costs nothing.
One more day of bread and work. One more day … so much rags… The man barefoot in moon silver Mutters “You” and “You” To things hidden In the cool of the night time, In Rabelais, Whitman, Hugo, In an oblong of moon mist.
Out from the window … prairielands. Moon mist whitens a golf ground. Whiter yet is a limestone quarry. The crickets keep on chirring.
Switch engines of the Great Western Sidetrack box cars, make up trains For Weehawken, Oskaloosa, Saskatchewan; The cattle, the coal, the corn, must go In the night … on the prairielands.
Chuff-chuff go the pulses. They beat in the cool of the night time. Chuff-chuff and chuff-chuff… These heartbeats travel the night a mile And touch the moon silver at the window And the bones of the man. It costs nothing.
Rabelais in red boards, Whitman in green, Hugo in ten-cent paper covers, Here they stand on shelves In the cool of the night time And the clocks.