After false summer, the low lights of fall
Fade in the water-meadows,
And a slack wind soughs through the broken sea-wall
Where the samphire grows.
Now the slow tinkling of cow-bells allows
Thoughts of the past to rally
Kings from lost battles, as though silted barrows
Were not realms of the Norse bee.
By the windmill and the shivering willow tree,
Over the yellow osier,
Seamews in circles move, and, beyond, the tall three
Towers divide the air.
Along the green ditches pale herons stare,
Reflections that shimmer, then break,
As they plunge for their food, while gun-ports in ruin share
The dusk with a grey drake.
But to all this the gleanings that take
Place in the heart only
Render some meaning, as the drift fires of cane-brake
Burn by the sea.