YARDBIRD’S SKULL by Owen Dodson.

The bird is lost,
Dead, with all the music:
Whole sunsets heard the brain’s music
Faded to last horizon notes.

I do not know why I hold
This skull, smaller than a walnut’s,
Against my ear,
Expecting to hear
The smashed fear
Of childhoods from…bone;
Expecting to see
Wind nosing red and purple,
Strange gold and magic
On bubbled windowpanes
Of childhood.

Shall I hear?
I should hear: this skull
Has been with violets
Not Yorrick, or the gravedigger,
Yapping his yelling story,
This skull has been in air,
Sensed his brother, the swallow,
(Its talent for snow and crumbs).

Flown to lost Atlantis islands,
Places of dreaming, swimming, lemmings.
O I shall hear skull skull,
Hear your lame music,
Believe music rejects undertaking,
Limps back.

Remember tiny lasting, we get lonely:
Come sing, come sing, come sing sing
And sing…..

Copyright 1946, reprinted by permission.