As silent as a mirror is believed
Realities plunge in silence by . . .
I am not ready for repentance;
Nor to match regrets. For the moth
My hands have not touched pleasure since your hands, --
No, -- nor my lips freed laughter since 'farewell',
And with the day, distance again expands
Voiceless between us, as an uncoiled shell.
It sheds a shy solemnity,
This lamp in our poor room.
O grey and gold amenity, --
Silence and gentle gloom!
We will make our meek adjustments,
Contented with such random consolations
As the wind deposits
In slithered and too ample pockets.
The bell-rope that gathers God at dawn
Dispatches me as though I dropped down the knell
Of a spent day - to wander the cathedral lawn
Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledge
The dice of drowned men's bones he saw bequeath
An embassy. Their numbers as he watched,
Beat on the dusty shore and were obscured.
Forgetfulness is like a song
That, freed from beat and measure, wanders.
Forgetfulness is like a bird whose wings are reconciled,
Outspread and motionless, --
Where the cedar leaf divides the sky
I heard the sea.
In sapphire arenas of the hills
I was promised an improved infancy.
The little voices of the prairie dogs
Are tireless . . .
They will give three hurrahs
Alike to stage, equestrian, and pullman,
There are no stars to-night
But those of memory.
Yet how much room for memory there is
In the loose girdle of soft rain.