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‘I only ask a Tune at Midnight’ – Emily Dickinson

The gatehouse locks, and night, I mark hours in chimes, And heat, heat makes its prayer – A slow refrain, stifling. Brick And wood store warmth so deep, And I write, look across Close, Called by chimes toward Cathedral, It’s out there, stone and scaffold, If only I could see buttresses fly; Do penitents still shuffle On their knees, does anyone Carry His corpus through streets? No light, only bells, chime, chime, And Owl, counterpoint, Its hoot an open window on mine. Dare I sing of saints and martyrs Stained in glass, of our Lord (Cornerstone torn), of Cathedral? Sister Owl sings, an open window, And Spire soars, Heaven, And soon light, demon-dawn.


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