Lights Out

Darkness expectant, discreet
Only a lamp here and there,
Gloom in the clattering street,
Stygian black in the square;
Dazzling fascias and fronts,
Scintillant sky-scrapers banished,
Snuffed and shut down are the spangles of Town.
London has vanished.
Only a few months ago
London woke up every night;
Dances or 'Chemin’ or Show,
Festival vistas of light.
Everywhere glitter and glare,
Junket and revelry keeping.
Yes, but despite the laughter and light,
London was sleeping.
Searchlights are probing the skies,
Eastward their streamers are trailed ;
Masked are the city’s bright eyes
Even the tramcars are veiled.
Cockneys turn in at eleven,
‘Stop Press’ thirst finally slaked.
Turn the lights out. Now, without doubt,
London’s awake!
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