Warm wind rakes the humming woods and sets the stars twinkling. Doors bump, and the roof-scraping branch groans. Orion leaves the sky early now, eager to catch the sun. The little dipper has tipped on end. When the waning moon rises, the chorus of crickets is still in full song. All trace of winter has vanished from the soft scented air. Yesterday afternoon, I saw butterflies everywhere, and hardly a tree was without its singing birds. In all this exuberance of sound and movement, I alone encounter stillness, I alone engage silence.
Someone Talking to Himself
by Richard Wilbur
Even when first her face, Younger than any spring, Older than Pharaoh's grain And fresh as Phoenix-ashes, Shadowed under its lashes Every earthly thing, There was another place I saw in a flash of pain: Off in the fathomless dark Beyond the verge of love I saw blind fishes move, And under a stone shelf Rode the recusant shark-- Cold, waiting, himself.
Oh, even when we fell, Clean as a mountain source And barely able to tell Such ecstasy from grace, Into the primal bed And current of our race, We knew yet must deny To what we gathered head: That music growing harsh, Trees blotting the sky Above the roaring course That in summer's drought Slowly would peter out Into a dry marsh.
Love is the greatest mercy, A volley of the sun That lashes all with shade, That the first day be mended; And yet, so soon undone, It is the lover's curse Till time be comprehended And the flawed heart unmade. What can I do but move From folly to defeat, And call that sorrow sweet That teaches us to see The final face of love In what we cannot be?