English poetry

Poems in English

Ghosts of a Lunatic Asylum

Ghosts of a Lunatic Asylum

Here, where men’s eyes were empty and as bright
As the blank windows set in glaring brick,
When the wind strengthens from the sea and night
Drops like a fog and makes the breath come thick;

By the deserted paths, the vacant halls,
One may see figures, twisted shades and lean,
Like the mad shapes that crawl an Indian screen,
Or paunchy smears you find on prison walls.

Turn the knob gently! There’s the Thumbless Man,
Still weaving glass and silk into a dream,
Although the wall shows through him and the Khan
Journeys Cathay beside a paper stream.

A Rabbit Woman chitters by the door
Chilly the grave-smell comes from the turned sod
Come lift the curtain and be cold before
The silence of the eight men who were God!



Poem Ghosts of a Lunatic Asylum - Stephen Vincent Benet