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Oscar Wilde : Impressions

		Les Silhouettes
	The sea is flecked with bars of grey,
	The dull dead wind is out of tune,
	And like a withered leaf the moon
Is blown across the stormy bay. 

	Etched clear upon the pallid sand
	Lies the black boat: a sailor boy
	Clambers aboard in careless joy
With laughing face and gleaming hand.

	And overhead the curlews2 cry,
	Where through the dusky upland grass
	The young brown-throated reapers pass,
Like silhouettes against the sky.

		La Fuite de la Lune3
	To outer senses there is peace,
	A dreamy peace on either hand
	Deep silence in the shadowy land,
Deep silence where the shadows cease.

	Save for a cry that echoes shrill
	From some lone bird disconsolate;
	A corncrake4 calling to its mate;
The answer from the misty hill. 

	And suddenly the moon withdraws
	Her sickle from the lightening skies,
	And to her sombre cavern flies,
Wrapped in a veil of yellow gauze.

Oscar Wilde (1855-1900)	1881

1 the title can be translated as impressions or sketches; 2 brown plumaged wading bird with large, curved beak and distinctive forlorn cry; 3 the flight of the moon; 4 inland bird with sharp repetitive call

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