Charing Cross

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At five o'clock they ring a tinkly bell;The April dawn glimmers along the beds,There is a lifting up of weary headsFrom weary pillows. Our old citadelHath still held out, and while the miracleOf morning is unbared again, and spreadsAll the young East with greens and blues and redsEach of us wakes to his particular hell.

But even on this bitter shore of StyxWhere Life to dogged Death puts the last schism,We kindle for the ending of the dark:The Asthma feebly jokes the Aneurism,The little bandaged boy in Number SixSings "Ye shall die" with a voice like a lark.

© Crosland Thomas William Hodgson