Hazel Hall

The World's Voice

If I listen shall I hear 
Sounds that seem to hover near? 
Speech of ship calling to ship 
Through dark tides that twist and grip, 
Dash of spray on a splintered coast, 
The whisper-flutter of a host 
Of sun-coloured butterflies 
Wheeling under marbled skies; 
The jabber of a little wind 
Where the meadows' grass is thinned — 
Or where trees forget their prides 
To sway in unison like tides; 
All the city's formal din; 
All the hush where big streets thin 
To little crooked lanes and lose 
Themselves as the green distance blues 
Into space — Oh everything 
That can either sound or sing! 

To-day my four grey walls are strung 
So thin, each echo has a tongue; 
The world has raised its voice to-day 
That I may hear what it has to say. 

I listen... 
What I hear 
Is only the longing of an ear 
Too much concerned with the cry of space, 
And with listening in a quiet place.