A brown net of branches
quivers above silver trunks of planes.
Here and there
a late leaf flutters
its faint death-rattle in the wind.
Beyond, the sky burns fervid rose
like red wine held against the sun.
Schoolboys are playing in the square
dodging among the silver tree-trunks
collars gleam and white knees
as they romp shrilly.
Lamps bloom out one by one
like jessamine, yellow and small.
At the far end a church's dome
flat deep purple cuts the sky.
Schoolboys are romping in the square
in and out among the silver tree-trunks
out of the smoked rose shadows
through the timid yellow lamplight...
Socks slip down
fingermarks smudge white collars;
they run and tussle in the shadows
kicking the gravel with muddied boots
with cheeks flushed hotter than the sky
eyes brighter than the street-lamps
with fingers tingling and breath fast:
banqueters early drunken
on the fierce cold wine of the dead year.