Revised 22 May 1999

W.H. Auden - The Secret Agent

Control of the passes was, he saw, the key
To this new district, but who would get it?
He, the trained spy, had walked into the trap
For a bogus guide, seduced by the old tricks.

At Greenhearth was a fine site for a dam
And easy power, had they pushed the rail
Some stations nearer. They ignored his wires:
The bridges were unbuilt and trouble coming.

The street music seemed gracious now to one
For weeks up in the desert. Woken by water
Running away in the dark, he often had
Reproached the night for a companion
Dreamed of already. They would shoot, of course,
Parting easily two that were never joined.

January 1928
Copyright 1976

Wystan Hugh Auden

In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise

On Auden's grave marker, in Kirchstetten, lower Austria

go to "The Watershed" go to "Lullaby"
go to "Their Lonely Betters" go to "The More Loving One"