Devonshire Street W.1

John Betjeman

The heavy mahogany door with its wrought-iron screen
  Shuts. And the sound is rich, sympathetic, discreet.
The sun still shines on this eighteenth-century scene
  With Edwardian faience adornment—Devonshire Street.

No hope. And the X-ray photographs under his arm
  Confirm the message. His wife stands timidly by.
The opposite brick-built house looks lofty and calm
  Its chimneys steady against the mackerel sky.

No hope. And the iron knob of this palisade
  So cold to the touch, is luckier now than he
“Oh merciless, hurrying Londoners! Why was I made
  For the long and painful deathbed coming to me?”

She puts her fingers in his, as, loving and silly
  At long-past Kensington dances she used to do
“It’s cheaper to take the tube to Piccadilly
  And then we can catch a nineteen or twenty-two”.

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