and now I watch for the light, for the signal fire’
(Agamemnon trans. Robert Fagles)
Oh Lord, grant me tonight my clearest sight
and compass my watch with a steady eye
for fear I dream I’m swept away this time.
I saw the bright millstone lower again to the sea
and the stars telling our fortunes in a gaining wind -
friends who’ve fallen on the way, ambition, envy,
too much dreaming. How shall I keep staying?
In the middle of the longest night I woke trembling
on the staff of my elbows but recognised enough
to make my living real: a foothold in the earth,
my grove against the currents and those cold,
Martello fires, our great, silent heralds of the sky.
Nothing happened but the dark, the skin
of the dark repeating,
Shake yourself, Sentry.