It ought to be lovely to be old
to be full of the peace that comes of experience
and wrinkled ripe fulfilment.
Yesterday the fields were only grey with scattered snow,
And now the longest grass-leaves hardly emerge;
Yet her deep footsteps mark the snow, and go
On towards the pines at the hills’ white verge.
We are a liars, because
the truth of yesterday becomes a lie tomorrow,
whereas letters are fixed,
and we live by the letter of truth.
Butterfly, the wind blows sea-ward,
strong beyond the garden-wall!
Butterfly, why do you settle on my
shoe, and sip the dirt on my shoe,
A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there.
In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree
Mournfully to and fro, to and fro the trees are waving;
What did you say, my dear?
The rain-bruised leaves are suddenly shaken, as a child
Asleep still shakes in the clutch of a sob—
Reject me not if I should say to you
I do forget the sounding of your voice,
I do forget your eyes that searching through
The mists perceive our marriage, and rejoice.
Close your eyes, my love, let me make you blind;
They have taught you to see
Only a mean arithmetic on the face of things,
A cunning algebra in the faces of men,