On this day in 1945, C. S. Lewis' friend, fellow Inkling and author, Charles Williams, died suddenly at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford.
TO CHARLES WILLIAMS
Your death blows a strange bugle call, friend, and all is hard
To see plainly or record truly. The new light imposes change,
Re-adjusts all a life-landscape as it thrusts down its probe from the sky,
To create shadows, to reveal waters, to erect hills and deepen glens.
The slant alters. I can't see the old contours. It's a larger world
Than I once thought it. I wince, caught in the bleak air that blows on the ridge.
Is it the first sting of the great winter, the world-waning? Or the cold of spring?
A hard question and worth talking a whole night on.
But with whom? Of whom now can I ask guidance? With what friend concerning your death
Is it worth while to exchange thoughts unless—oh unless it were you?
Poems (Bles 1964)