[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,
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.
catches the stick in his fist

and, shrouded, starts beating
bars of the gate.

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


He came trammelled

in the taboos of the country

picking a nice way through
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
could don manners

at a flutter of curtains.

His straw mask and hunch were fabulous

disappearing beyond the lamplit
slabs of a yard.


You dream a cricket in the hearth
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.
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.