Conrad Potter Aiken
Conrad Potter Aiken Poems
While the blue noon above us arches,
And the poplar sheds disconsolate leaves,
Tell me again why love bewitches,
And what love gives.
It is the trembling finger that traces
The eyebrow’s curve, the curve of the cheek?
The mouth that quivers, when the hand caresses,
But cannot speak?
No, not these, not in these is hidden
The secret, more than in other things:
Not only the touch of a hand can gladden
Till the blood sings.
It is the leaf that falls between us,
The bells that murmur, the shadows that move,
The autumnal sunlight that fades upon ...
Through that window—all else being extinct
Except itself and me—I saw the struggle
Of darkness against darkness. Within the room
It turned and turned, dived downward. Then I saw
How order might—if chaos wished—become:
And saw the darkness crush upon itself,
Contracting powerfully; it was as if
It killed itself, slowly: and with much pain.
Pain. The scene was pain, and nothing but pain.