The blackout curtains were drawn—
it was night, I mean—though dawn
should have come. Beeches, maples,

the dying horse-chestnuts, all had surrendered
to the general fall, like men to a cause not
understood. Sacrifice I do not understand

in the general sense. It had been a week
of the feathery rain
the trees were gluttons for—not punishment,

but history. The passing dumb-show cannot
bring back that sense of generosity, theft.
Snow falling through the tracery of the rose

window, how much would the lord
of the manor have paid for his private folly,
his sublime? The churches lie redundant.