Poem for a Cold Night

It’s only the wind in the trees, my love,
Sleep sound in your big white bed,
That’s only the howl of a dog you hear
Not the call of the waking dead!

It’s only the tap of the twigs on the glass,
And slap of the slanting rain,
It’s not my hands on the garden gate,
Nor face at the window pane.

It’s only the wind in the chimney, dear,
And the tick of the night-time clock,
It’s not the sound of my voice you hear,
Nor the click of the key in the lock.

Yes, it’s wilder now and colder too,
But it’s only the branches that fall,
It’s not the slam of a door you hear,
Nor footsteps in the hall.

It’s only the owl on the roof, my dear,
With a mouse, you heard its cry,
There’s no grim reaper on your stairs,
And spirits cannot sigh…

No breath of mine will stir the air,
It’s just your opening door,
Put out your light, for you’ll not cast
My shadow on the floor.

Don’t tremble so, avert your gaze,
Ignore my sightless stare,
You’re simply dreaming that you feel
Cold fingers in your hair.

Your cheeks are white, don’t be afraid,
The paths of the dead are fixed.
There’ll be no pain, accept, my love,
This kiss upon your lips.

Tony French

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