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Poem by Christopher Morley
The Wakeful Husband
How blue the moonlight and how still the night. Silent I ramble through the whole dear house Setting aright in happy ownership Whatever may lie out of its due place. Books in the living room I rearrange, Then in the dining room my pewter mugs, And put her little brown nasturtium bowl Where she can see it when she telephones. Up in my den the papers are a-sprawl And litter up my desk: these too I sort Thinking, to-morrow I will rise betimes And do my work neglected.... Tiptoe then I pass into the Shrine. She is asleep, Dark hair across the moon-blanched pillow slip. Her eyes are sealed with peace, but as I touch The girlish cheek, her lips are tremulous With secret knowing smiles. In her boudoir (Her "sulking room" I call it: did you know It means that?) I wind up the tiny clock And stand at her Prayer Window where the fields Lie listening to the crickets and the stars.... Alas, I only hear the throb of pain That echoes from the moonlit fields of France. Into our kitchen, too, I love to go, Straighten the spoons against our break of fast, Share secrets with our dog, the drowsy-eyed, Surprise the kitten with some midnight milk. The pantry cupboard, full of pleasant things, Attracts me: there I love to place in line The packages of cereals, or fill up The breakfast sugar bowl; and empty out The icebox pan into the singing night. Then, as I fixed the cushions on the porch, I wondered whether God, while wandering Through his big house, the World, householderwise, Does also quietly set things aright, Gives sleep to sleepless wives in Germany And gently smooths the battlefields of France? Dear Father God, the children in their play Have tossed their toys in saddest disarrayЧ Wilt Thou not, like a kindly nurse at dusk, Pass through the playroom, make it neat again?
Christopher Morley's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail email@example.com