A parcel of the soil not wide enough
or firm enough to build a dwelling on,
or deep enough to dig a grave, but cool
and sweet enough to sink the nostrils in
and find the smell of home, or in the ears
rumors of home like oceans in a shell.
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
Bends no more than the still
Imploring flame. And tremorous
In the white falling flakes
The only worth all granting.
It is to be learned--
This cleaving and this burning,
But only by the one who
Spends out himself again.
Twice and twice
(Again the smoking souvenir,
Bleeding eidolon!) and yet again.
Until the bright logic is won
Unwhispering as a mirror
Then, drop by caustic drop, a perfect cry
Shall string some constant harmony,--
Relentless caper for all those who step
The legend of their youth into the noon.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Modern Verse in English, 1900-1950. Contributors: David Cecil - Editor, Allen Tate - Editor. Publisher: Macmillan. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1958. Page number: 427.