The Eighth Sin/The Weathercock

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I often envy the golden cock
Atop St. Mary's spire
What sights there are for him to see
What music to admire—
The rose-red dawns, the chime of bells,
The sunsets fringed with fire.

From his windy vantage does he see
The crumbling walls of grey?
And Isis, through the cloth of green
Stitching her silver way?
Does the scent of Cotswold violets come
From twenty miles away?

Aloft in the cool blue void of night
Does he count the stars? Until
Through the smoke of smouldering dawn he hears
His brethren on Cumnor Hill
Hailing the flames of coming day
With voices clear and shrill?

Alas, be neither hears nor sees
His gilded eyes are blind
And he must always face the breeze
Nor ever look behind—
If the wind be east, though the sun set red
He may not ever turn his head!