Temper of Time

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An ill wind is stalking
   While evil stars whir
And all the gold apples
   Go bad to the core.

Black birds of omen
   Now prowl on the bough;
With a hiss of disaster
   Sibyl's leaves blow.

Through closets of copses
   Tall skeletons walk;
Nightshade and nettles
   Tangle the track.

In the ramshackle meadow
   Where Kilroy would pass
Lurks the sickle-shaped shadow
   Of snake in the grass.

Approaching his cottage
   By crooked detour,
He hears the gruff knocking
   Of the wolf at the door.

His wife and his children
   Hang riddled with shot,
There’s a hex on the cradle
   And death in the pot.