[ai] time * [ɪ] in [ʌ/ ʊ] up [ɒ] fog [i:] screen [əʊ] road [e/ eə:] them

[ɑ:] arm [ei] gate [ɜː] world [ʊə/ u/ u:] moves [au] shroud [æ] ash

[ɔː/ ɔɪ ] lawn

The Last Mummer

Carries a stone in his pocket,
an
ash-plant under his arm.


Moves out of the fog

on the lawn, pad up the terrace.


The luminous screen in the corner
has them charmed in a ring


so he stands a long time behind them.

St. George, Beelzebub and Jack Straw


Can’t be conjured from mist.
He
catches the stick in his fist


and, shrouded, starts beating
the
bars of the gate.


His boots crack the road. The stone
clatters down off the slates.


II

He came trammelled

in the taboos of the country


picking a nice way through
the
long toils of blood


and feuding.

His tongue went whoring


among the civil tongues,

he had an eye for weather-eyes


at cross-roads and lane-ends
and
could don manners


at a flutter of curtains.

His straw mask and hunch were fabulous


disappearing beyond the lamplit
slabs of a yard.

III

You dream a cricket in the hearth
and
cockroach on the floor,


a line of mummers
marching out the door


as the lamp flares in the draught.
Melted snow off their feet


leaves you in peace.
Again an old year dies


on your hearthstone, for good luck.
The
moon's host elevated


in a monstrance of holly trees,
he makes dark tracks, who had


untousled a first dewy path

into the summer grazing.