31 JULY 1964, Page 21

Night Garden of the Asylum

An owl's call scrapes the stillness. Curtains are barriers and behind them The beds settle into neat rows. Soon they'll be,ruffled.

The garden knows nothing of illness, Only it knows of the slow gleam Of stars, the moon's distilling, it knows Why the beds and lawns are levelled.

Then all is broken from its fullness. A human cry cuts across a dream. A wild hand squeezes an open rose. We are in witchcraft, bedevilled.