Old Fires By John Frederick Freeman

    The fire burns low
    Where it has burned ages ago,
    Sinks and sighs
    As it has done to a hundred eyes
    Staring, staring
    At the last cold smokeless glow.

    Here men sat
    Lonely and watched the golden grate
    Turn at length black;
    Heard the cooling iron crack:
    Shadows, shadows,
    Watching the shadows come and go.

    And still the hiss
    I hear, the soft fire’s sob and kiss,
    And still it burns
    And the bright gold to crimson turns,
    Sinking, sinking,
    And the fire shadows larger grow.

    O dark-cheeked fire,
    Wasting like spent heart’s desire,
    You that were gold,
    And now crimson will soon be cold–
    Cold, cold,
    Like moon-shadows on new snow.

    Shadows all,
    They that watched your shadows fall.
    But now they come
    Rising around me, grave and dumb….
    Shadows, shadows,
    Come as the fire-shadows go.

    And stay, stay,
    Though all the fire sink cold as clay,
    Whispering still,
    Ancestral wise Familiars–till,
    Staring, staring,
    Dawn’s wild fires through the casement glow.

End of content

End of content