The Net

Enoch Powell

The net like a white vault, hung overhead
Dewy and glistening in the full moon's light,
Which cast a shadow-pattern of the thread
Over our face and arms, laid still and white
Like polished ivories on the dark bed.
The truck's low side concealed from us the sight
Of tents and bivouacs and track-torn sand
That lay without; only a distant sound 
Of gunfire sometimes or, more close at hand,
A bomb, with dull concussion of the ground,
Pressed in upon our world, where, all else banned,
Our lonely souls eddied like echoing sound
Under the white cathedral of the net,
And like a skylark in captivity
Hung fluttering in the meshes of our fate,
With death at hand and, round, eternity.

The Rt.Hon Enoch Powell MP PC MBE was a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge; Professor of Greek, University of Sydney, Australia (1937-1939). In World War II, he was a Brigadier on the General Staff.

From Oasis into Italy -- Shepheard-Walwyn Ltd (1983)