In the rapt
silence of the green midnight,
dead, save that in the height
Stars moved; still, save that fell
Timid lisp of leaves that awake and shiver;
The eternal lapse of time, grown audible,
Rose up into my hearing like a knell,
Exhaustless, large, sustained; and in that river
I knew myself gray driftwood rolled along
In loneliness forever.
But it was not for long,
For soon Love's knowledge like a golden gong
Rang flaming through my spirit, and time was naught.
And life and death, Earth and the stars were caught
Suddenly into a holocaust of song.
We who alone are wise
Seeing we have the sign to exorcize
This ghost of desolation, let us tend
Love's fire until the end.
Let us be patient, tender,
In this strange task of living;
For if we fail each other, each will be
Gray driftwood lapsing to the bitter sea.