Even now the wrestling winter wind Struggles in the window's flaw And the charity of the sun is given over To night's empty menace. My fingers In sympathy with the very ice Whiten and grow longer atop my coverings, Hoisting the sheet simply as a wave. Wind at the casement inks with creaks What I had kept in lightest sketch, Rounding to flesh with roars and moans What I had kept in a whispering skull, Dawn to dusk inside my soul, Kept locked below some workaday hum Whose once-amusing tune now tums in dread. How can the body breathe when no hope gusts through, Panicking the shutters to the outward sky? So my body and my bed lay together stacked, Mortised mates: the cadaver and mortician's table. So I lay at the nadir-bottom of my thoughts That had been high bearers-up before,- Frothy self-involving silvered clouds Radiant as watered stones in moonshine; Now down in the sultry sinkhole bottom Of a stirless pool no unburdening breeze will bless, Over-crowed by moss-black cypress trees Dripping no redemption from their dank, So I lay, as now I lie in mental projection: In the reeking warp and bursting of my coffin-box. Here, in the mire, my meaning is near My hidden wish insists I miss him, Cause and consoler of my misery! A foulish pool of moonlight at my feet Shifts and shapes into his living shadow, A sad long form too full of thought; I stare into the abyss that I have brought. I cannot speak, weak ghost, frail light Overmastering me! All my mind's But memory of our untold hopes! Shape of my friend who shaped me so! Dear ghost, do not go, but let me rehearse Our storied history to your toneless face; Face whiter than the day gone blind. Many hours had we trod the wood, near twins, In each other's sidewise countenance Discerning ourselves! After a little onward way At a fenny brook stopped up we stopped Restoring its foot-light laughter to the wood That under many an autumn's confusion of leaves Had clotted to brown silence. Heave Of hands as wet as their work, as cold unfrozen As vapored breath! At the stoppage's heart In the very bolus of the blockage's glut A dead raven wormed, fat with drowned maggots Eating the mealy flesh that could no longer Hold the wetted velvet of its feathers together. Its dead eye was as sunken as the pit Where we buried it. An office of farewell Performed perforce in mutual accord As like our old friendship together then As unlike our alien parting now, Never vetted in the abstraction of a vow. Vengeance and ire are exiles to this mood That even in the hurricano's house Leave their livid imprints. Oh ghost Called up from the waterspout Of tears unwept and inly kept Deliver now no elegy of division That sunders life from life And vanquishes the vivid phonemes of our dreams! O newly denuded world Bereft of friendship and benefit Shorn of scorn and sorrow both That have no object on which to act! No syllable will tell The night hauntings your each look has cast Deep into the telling silence of my soul. My soul! And what is that? A hollow word More echoed out by poets than looked into. But when at nighttime and for all the night I search the remorseful strains of memory To find some babble that will heal Beside the note "Forget"- that and that alone I say is soul- the willful welding Of has been and is. If I could recall it all Neither in melancholy nor high-hearted joy And leave not one instant back to rot I'd count myself a thing beyond a day. How often has the robin's song come to this sill And I noted it not? From that oblivion alone I begin. Her redbreast puffed with expectation And with mirth, and song trilled out as water Spilled serially over the serried rocks. Flow back up the stone along thou's song! Let memory's viol play you as a tune Worn true with loving, Made soft-edged by your worth, our youth. Communal comminglings of sun and moon If each were source and both reflectors. To've shared what we have given! Day gathers day in its trooping hoop And rolls on, agile and endless. Although the spontaneous waterfall May loiter at its foaming foot Distilling a stillness in the tumult's depth- Even so the swelling pool will whelm the lip In moon as in noon, seeping the pristine banks In affectionate and curious insistence. So what we are flows to what We must come to be, until our ruddy drops Beset the universal ocean, whelmed To give, and give all, and end all giving. What cares the bee for the blossom's nuzzle? What cares she or knows she how her work In honey laid shall see a spring That she herself shall never know? Still the flower receives and the bee busily does Whatever whiteness the one or buzz the other, Mutually do they do, and mutually know not. And yet, were they to know, to think, to care What pause would press between the passions Of their touch? What bee might meditate Alone and unpollinated on some barer branch? What flower shut to dawn its streaked pinks So warmly showed to the showering rays before? The mind remembers each tweet each note And each soberer lowing of tuba or bassoon No matter how distant the conductor's commencing click May seem to present ears and hearers. All's memorial from the moment of its making To its last, dashing regretful recall. No matter how blithely frivolous we live Or howsoe'er delicate or fleet or half-materialized, How subtle-soft, how hard to catch or kiss, How almost nothing as a faded impulse unexplored- Each unknowing moment of our fluttering is In amber laid. Now in my maturer melancholy I long for the native joyance of my youth: A sodden blossom beaten by the rain, I sprang to the sun at its first clearing, The skyey vault light-washed as a robin's egg, I, who now am a rude sturdy twig froze round As a hoop. Too many winters Has my heaven-intending form laid low, Frozen with distorted weight to whatever Brambles crawled along the ministering dirt. Physician! How can I find the cure I knew so well when I did not know I knew it! Now within me still I sleep, A hibernate creature gone to moody caves,- And cave and creature both wander lost within me! I wander lost as Oedipus over earth, heartsore When his crimes had cracked him to his core. Wavy lengths of my hair sweat matted To my forehead, heavy with road-dust; Hair this wild year had left unshorn, Numberless as the fruitless thoughts That have pursued me- my own phantom- As when the mirror presses darkness on my eyes. Stars of eve, once the ready angels Of my bedtime prayers, twinkling on my hopes In looking wonder from the firmament, Now cast chilly chastisements on my course And make each way onward a mirror fouled By the ignorant chance that moved me hence. Onward naught and rearward naught And oblivion within! In such state am I caught. I am christened "Lost." My want of self Haunted memory returned re-cleared to me, As when in a clearest pool silver-laden I saw what the world saw was me. And when some minor upset rolls the pool And puts the silver salver into sine That self may still be seen in highlights and lows Distorted but unbroken as it goes Even unto the edges in an ermine flash. Be it a leaf that loures upon the plane Done with autumnal ripening Or narcissistic lock let down From avid, too avid, self-scrutiny The result is still This unstillness and its bends. I stare at the soft frost edges of the room, A moody amanuensis to the moon Until elegant as a weeping pine My soul steps from its sleeping source And all the air is fraught with mist. This image past of spirited play Wavers in a mirror rude: Slipshod appraisal of apprentice days When love for love's sake came half-amazed And gazed the neighboring fence half-along Staring daisies into blotched sun-spots And not the bright warm things they were Themselves alone. A demarcation has occurred- one unloves another. A "cruel neglect and contemptuous silence ever since." How can I respond to this new, denuded world? Oh! Full many times I myself have seen The glory's crown that old Coleridge taught- Self-enhancing shadow of a thought- When round my fallen shadow's head A rainbow glory glowed in the snow As I trudged with my sled up the steep To the tipped top of the wintry hill Ready to plunge again like thunder down Into the gulf from which I'd come. Convoys to their various destinies post Finding their ways as they make them Amid that startlement of the waves- And to find themselves have lost the fleet That sent them seaward into mists, Sharpest demarcation of their long self-pursuit. Now with more constant heart and firm resolve My face may bear what winds upbraid me- Or is this but a lie I level at my will.... The ghost is vanished! The departed friend Filtered out the window without a syllable; I lift myself and follow to the frame. Is there some silver-tinged disturbance Adding its fretted lattice to the leaves Of the windy maples all about? I cannot speak so well as shout And fear my voice will only tell Dead and final as a parting bell. To the porch then-under stippled skies I feel the clear vigor of the cold Where a thousand stars like errless watchers Pin me to my outpost. There, there Hope deludes me with a moment's wish; It was perhaps some serried sound Of household dog turning round To return to his hunter's sleep in peace. But still some welling white is there Besides the moon's. I see it blur The boldened boundary of the field Crowded with unfound flowers gone to weed. Some shape is there-oh surely there- Not all I know of one is departed yet Still some mere shred lingers to be loved And take of me forgiveness in the night. Block all jealousies-all wrongs-all time Beside the moment we wear now, A gown new and mutable to our mutual need. -One moment's presence is all I ask! "Come! Turn your back to me no more, come back!" I cry and the cry is like a thundercrack Inside my grieving skull. No more turn away! This night shall be as first light and life Come from the most high into humanity- Only let it touch what most remains Of what we are this instant. The silver swells At the field's end, growing larger as my Charging heart! Ah yes! Companion prime Of hope and heart-high hero of my contemplation Turn to return! But wait! Tis gone, tis fled All that was of brimming light has burst And the iron balustrade cuts into my striking thighs And the alien field lays darkened and undewed. This single tear has dribbled down my face. One friend one loss one parting! Not if all the world were mirror for our woes Could ten thousand lines tell the tale: How heart is rent and soul must wail, How in conversation with a blank There is no love to conquer all our labors; Amelioration is stemmed, and dead's the tide That had flooded all our flotsam and our hopes. No expectation had been too heavy to be borne Along the continual susurrations of such a main. Dawn herself, and her twin, dusk, Came and went well-colored by the clarity and depth; The clouds that cooled and shadowed us Were themselves sustained By the liquid intercessions of watery faith. The question of a quisling, of love Lavished on a lesser thing, the friend departed Who had been Palestine, home returned And companion of adventure in a world of deeds, This artificial death and detriment Of two who had been connected At their very source! The isolated echo made moody and alone -Gone the solidarity of arms embraced Twins insistent as the signal sun To burn our beings brightly and as one. Now by sympathetic charm of grief All friendship comes to this belief: That those who now do love me well Shall leave me soon in abandoned hell; Like a rosary I keep these words Beside me, counted close, and counted Over again in each hour that I mourn. Vain words that rehearse this rose That goes away the way the sunset goes.