mournless musicNew adventures in verse (a mournless music)


The window’s complaint, the evening’s lament,

escaping light steals into streets,

a peal of scales hangs outside.

There is an absence in the air, a pall,

of forbearance, forgiveness, of unrepentance.


The ghost of unforgiveness haunts this place

like bells which fail to chime in towers and trees

like teeth which fail to click in place in wheels and



The voice says speak and I will speak

But I will not sing to a mournless music.


The road roars and moans and thunders

darkness wails and shrieks and leaks into

the soul. A cuckoo speaks


The trees are tossed like clothes in a machine

the night sky flashes, clear not thunder

a stone has fallen in the street

a rose a flower smells defeat


Books on the topic of this poem may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an on-line journal for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude and prayer.

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