�����... poet's plight . . .c/c?
You of the mysteries I've come to know
In sweet-sad murmurs of the vesper bell,
My throttled tongue would then so overflow
With timeless tales of pure supernal glow
That streams from common places all have seen
(That mark and mock our outer life below),
Would be repealed, as if a stubborn screen
Had been dissolved; and all that lies between
The parclose paling of the piece-bright world
And what is masked -- the pure and ever green --
Would then pour forth, as through a thin wall thurled.
The truth I've glimpsed, and yet no words are found,
And so by failing silence I am bound.
This silence that's become my sole estate
Has come of late to blur what's real and dreamed;
I have been set adrift to navigate
On seas that are, and are not, what they seemed.
For I have seen the center -- still -- that's teemed
Beneath the veil that not one soul denies,
And by its sight am both damned and redeemed
In ways I could not hope to analyze,
But which have in a strange way made me wise,
Though by their awful loneliness I'm swept --
Their wisdom seems all language to despise;
So often in my longing have I wept.
These are the poles that I am drawn between,
And yet how could you know quite what I mean?
While walking once along a country lane
I spied a bucket, weather-worn and bare,
Which time and circumstance half-filled with rain.
And on its waters I became aware
Of a lone beetle's silent voyage there,
And in it, mirrored, life's experience;
And now I see such visions everywhere --
I've not dared glimpse the oaken bucket since.
I'm tortured and yet blessed by Providence;
It's come to shake my wakefulness with sights
That pierce me utterly and make no sense.
And what were once my pleasures and delights,
And were for my whole life the goal and sum,
Now exile me to lands where words can't come.
A golden sunset makes my words quite fail,
A crippled child and country road, the same;
In all I sense the same soul-making vale
And know its grandeur full, yet not its name.
And not once did I beckon it, it came
And poisoned me 'til I could speak no more.
Daylight's dull web and I are all the same --
The empty mask that hangs beside the door.
Have I been made the sole inheritor
Of things I feel, but never can explain?
Mere circumstance has scourged me to the core;
With folded hands I slowly go insane.
I've seen God's greatness, but it has been planned
That I not speak of what I understand.