Oct 312013

Holden Caulfield’s sleepy murmurings

All night the dream returns, running through the rye;
The stars are high accusers and castigate my crime--
My hidden guilt I must acquit, or innocence must die;
Starlight on young faces falls, cold as cunning Time;
All night I must be running, running through the rye.
Children dance at the cliff-edge, sleeping children lightly by;
I race to where they're dancing, roll small sleepers from the ledge;
Faces without deceit;  innocent they dance, innocent dream and lie.
--Stalking like an alley cat, I keep my ancient pledge!
Ribbons of rye are wet, wet as a weeping eye.

Unstained as stars they play, ignorant of their purity;
The moon's a rusty lamp hung up for them to sing and dance--
Wave-wild they are rushing, rushing through the rye.
Freedom in their limbs so lingers, they see nor gate nor fence;
All night I must be running, running through the rye.

Sorrow mars them none;  no sorrow attends the dancers' eyes;
But the shepherd who runs among them is wounded to the core:
Wounded I wake in sweat, wounded race and curse--O why
Are none saved by my running, no dancer of the starry floor?
The ribbons of rye are wet; wet my weeping eyes.

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