Sonnet: The hours

They occasioned a sea, its whiteness, arranging a life,
Haunched like rooks in the ticking hours that measured
Their years. Death came as skeptical as a dull knife,
They vaunted each day by arranging a sacrificial wether.

But outside this diabolic brick and mortar purified land,
Most sacred in traditional rites, a noise, a sound in the lone
Wind raving, hallowing an interval of horse and man,
Saxon voices angry, came a random descent of arrows flown.

So cried the dying pagans, a brief respite from fear,
Lying, waiting for their Greek gods, for repentance,
Waiting for a hand to lift them to the pantheon stratosphere;
A celestial cleansing required, or a descent to Hades forth hence.

The hours are a mouth widening and swallowing fatigue; life
Is a handful of vowels, the clear ones harmony, dark ones strife.

Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus exhibited 1839 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851