What Time Is It?
Thirty tonight. I heard a clock strike twelve,
but thirty strokes of the star-sprung jeweled sky
went ringing by.
Thirty? Twelve? Treacherous. multiple hour!
I'll trust, I said, no bright mechanic face
in either place,
neither the wheeling sky nor the still tower;
this twelve-and-thirty-chiming two-part song
is doubly wrong.
I'll ask the time elsewhere.
Somewhere a circle stays
beyond the reach of days,
beyond the cold ironic tune
of star and minute-hand and moon:
what hour strikes there?
O terrible rhythm singing above the air,
what time is it? What time? Ho there!
But not a sound comes falling down the night.
So quiet is it now, I do not dare
put out the light.
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