Our eunuch dreams, all seedless in the light, Of light and love the tempers of the heart, Whack their boys' limbs, And, winding-footed in their shawl and sheet, Groom the dark brides, the widows of the night Fold in their arms. The shades of girls, all flavoured from their shrouds, When sunlight goes are sundered from the worm, The bones of men, the broken in their beds, By midnight pulleys that unhouse the tomb.
In this our age the gunman and his moll Two one-dimensional ghosts, love on a reel, Strange to our solid eye, And speak their midnight nothings as they swell; When cameras shut they hurry to their hole down in the yard of day. They dance between their arclamps and our skull, Impose their shots, showing the nights away; We watch the show of shadows kiss or kill Flavoured of celluloid give love the lie.
Which is the world? Of our two sleepings, which Shall fall awake when cures and their itch Raise up this red-eyed earth? Pack off the shapes of daylight and their starch, The sunny gentlemen, the Welshing rich, Or drive the night-geared forth. The photograph is married to the eye, Grafts on its bride one-sided skins of truth; The dream has sucked the sleeper of his faith That shrouded men might marrow as they fly.
This is the world; the lying likeness of Our strips of stuff that tatter as we move Loving and being loth; The dream that kicks the buried from their sack And lets their trash be honoured as the quick. This is the world. Have faith. For we shall be a shouter like the cock, Blowing the old dead back; our shots shall smack The image from the plates; And we shall be fit fellows for a life, And who remains shall flower as they love, Praise to our faring hearts.
from The Poems of Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1953 by New Directions Publishing Corporation. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.