– W.H. Auden
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
For more information on W.H. Auden, please click here: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/120
what a painful pleasure to read.
It had to be this poem for him, your friend, didn’t it? Go well Alison. Where ever he is, he is at peace. It’s always the ones left behind who have to struggle onwards.
Dear hhb, thank you for your kindness and for these true words. The service was on Saturday and there were over 1000 attendants (this in a town of 300). Auden seemed like the right choice for someone with such an enormous spirit.