Tops

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lyrics

Tops heel and yaw,
Sent newly spinning:
Squirm round the floor
At the beginning,
Then draw gravely up
Like candle-flames, till
They are soundless, asleep,
Moving, yet still.

So they run on,
Until, with a falter,
A flicker - soon gone -
Their pace starts to alter:
Heeling again
As if hopelessly tired
They wobble, and then
The poise we admired
Reels, clatters and sprawls,
Pathetically over,
-And what most appalls
Is that tiny first shiver.

Tops heel and yaw,
Sent newly spinning:
Squirm round the floor
At the beginning,
Then draw gravely up
Like candle-flames, till
They are soundless, asleep,
Moving, yet still.

So they run on,
Until, with a falter,
A flicker - soon gone -
Their pace starts to alter:
Heeling again
As if hopelessly tired
They wobble, and then
The poise we admired
Reels, clatters and sprawls,
Pathetically over,
-And what most appalls
Is that tiny first shiver.

credits

from Inlands, released June 30, 2011
Lyrics by Philip Larkin

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