© 2019 Good Dust

Now Through Night’s Caressing Grip

W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood (from The Dog Beneath the Skin)

Now through night’s caressing grip

Earth and all her oceans slip,

Capes of China slide away

From her fingers into day

And th’Americasincline

Coasts towards her shadow line.

Now the ragged vagrants creep

Into crooked holes to sleep:

Just and unjust, worst and best,

Change their places as they rest:

Awkward lovers lie in fields

Where disdainful beauty yields:

While the splendid and the proud

Naked stand before the crowd

And the losing gambler gains

And the beggar entertains:

May sleep’s healing power extend

Through these hours to our friend.

Unpursued by hostile force,

Traction engine, bull or horse

Or revolting succubus;

Calmly till the morning break

Let him lie, then gently wake.


Refugee Blues

by W.H. Auden

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.

Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you'll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew:
Old passports can't do that, my dear, old passports can't do that.

The consul banged the table and said,
"If you've got no passport you're officially dead":
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.