Summer 1958 • Vol. XX No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1958 |

Nocturne

What is the shape conspiring through The murky trees? Is it a foe With loaded gun, or two, or three Of them, or is it two lovers? No, It is a wildcat now that bides Its time, or else a goblin. Strange. Nothing but paper, bush, and buds. The magic of the night is change. I know the dangers of the night, The signpost missed, the moonlit fraud, The blind road suddenly come to nought, The creature lurking, the outlawed, The traveler beaten, robbed, and lost, The murderer who makes no sound. Where then from such a troubled list Is some protection to be found? Where but the night itself that keeps The stranger safe in a black cloud Until made nothing he escapes From human notice in a shroud, The night that offers him disguise Of rock or bush to which to turn Protected from the very gaze That he is able to discern?

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