Waiting, I think of Keats, the Ode and that fragile
Sense of a deep and careless reason puzzling still
Long after Hampstead has disinherited the nightingales
And given acres of those drowsy woods to Sunday outings,
Quick with perambulator wheels, crusts for the ducks and the cries
Of holidaying dogs, unpacked with babies
And easels by aesthetic women in a pondered
Eccentricity—and I wonder what they have to do
With this present nightingale; indifferently resung.
I spin, once round, in my academic chair and catch
The muddled culture of my room: a glance
Skidding over that Pieta to a tumbled Gothic arch broken
And deserted on a Yorkshire roadside and I
Ask myself what queer-yard is this?
Old postcards and scraps I kept for such a place where restatement
Seemed right, because knowing is a sudden thing kicked up from
The oddly indifferent. And I ask as I watch your estranged
Faces, if nightingales might be caught again for you.