Chisels of time and circumstance
Roughed out their forms; then want and pain
Cut Gothic details in their glance,
That they might mock the wind and rain.
All day they crouch against cold walls;
Or, chafing bony hands, they creep
To where some crowlike shadow falls,
And lose themselves in stony sleep:
For gargoyles have as weary hate
Of their own bones as of the men
Before whose coins they cringe and wait—
Lest thirst should claw their throats again.
With dusk they scuttle down a street,
Darkened by tracks and screeching cars,
Into a den where creatures meet
To drink and snarl about their scars.
At night, in some strange aook of stone
Which only Gothic eyes would mark,
They doze and twist about and moan
Through chilly ages of the dark.
In some unhallowed space they sit,
Where songs and incense never float;
They see the distant candles lit
And hear the far-off organ note.
They mock or dully peer about,
Where mellow stained-glass windows shine,
Like unclean monsters driven out
Of life’s restricted inner shrine.