by Richard Wilbur
Beasts in their major freedom Slumber in peace tonight. The gull on his ledge Dreams in the guts of himself the moon-plucked waves below, And the sunfish leans on a stone, slept By the lyric water, In which the spotless feet Of deer make dulcet splashes, and to which The ripped mouse, safe in the owl's talon, cries Concordance. Here there is no such harm And no such darkness As the selfsame moon observes Where, warped in window-glass, it sponsors now The werewolf's painful change. Turning his head away On the sweaty bolster, he tries to remember The mood of manhood, But lies at last, as always Letting it happen, the fierce fur soft to his face, Hearing with sharper ears the wind's exciting minors, The leaves' panic, and the degradation Of the heavy streams. Meantime, at high windows Far from thicket and pad-fall, suitors of excellence Sigh and turn from their work to construe again the painful Beauty of heaven, the lucid moon And the risen hunter, Making such dreams for men As told will break their hearts as always, bringing Monsters into the city, crows on the public statues, Navies fed to the fish in the dark Unbridled waters.