And the swans who float
Up and down the moat
Gobble the bread the Bishop feeds them.
The slim bronze men beat the hour again,
But only the gargoyles up in the hard blue air heed them.
When the Bishop says a prayer,
And the choir sing "Amen,"
The hammers break in on them there:
Clang! Clang! Beware! Beware!
The carved swan looks down at the passing men,
And the cobbles wink: "An hour has gone again."
But the people kneeling before the Bishop's chair
Forget the passing over the cobbles in the square.
An hour of day and an hour of night,
And the clouds float away in a red-splashed light.
The sun, quotha? or white, white
Smoke with fire all alight.
An old roof crashing on a Bishop's tomb,
Swarms of men with a thirst for room,
And the footsteps blur to a shower, shower, shower,
Of men passing—passing—every hour,
With arms of power, and legs of power,
And power in their strong, hard minds.
No need then
For the slim bronze men
Who beat God's hours: Prime, Tierce, None.
Who wants to hear? No one.