Philip Larkin

Friday Night At The Royal Station Hotel

Light spreads darkly downwards from the high Clusters of lights over empty chairs That face each other, coloured differently. Through open doors, the dining-room declares A larger loneliness of knives and glass And silence laid like carpet. A porter reads An unsold evening paper. Hours pass, And all the salesmen have gone back to Leeds, Leaving full ashtrays in the Conference Room. In shoeless corridors, the lights burn. How Isolated, like a fort, it is - The headed paper, made for writing home (If home existed) letters of exile: Now Night comes on. Waves fold behind villages.

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