AT THE WINDOW
The wind leaps back from brick, in the dark field
the hammers are stilled;
pillowed on living world, the stone stares
breathless, the wanderer counts impossible stars.
But you my spring my builder of beauty,
waking or sleeping across miles of roads,
walk in my labour with immaculate body
and memories of trees and Chinese birds,
as out of dust Lent's windy charity brings
boughs and bright wings.
Five white flames, but cold, I touch upon
this curving pane;
and all my heart is gathered suddenly close
like a cat's pupil, seeing behind the glass
the yellow clock, content: emotional shadow
softens my looking-out upon past years
- the midnight market, all the world a widow
- and this pale beating hand which is not yours.
Your brittle shell of air tames like a dove
the beast of love.
Over that fluid ghost, under the skin,
passion goes on;
back from the triple crossings, and the hours
of long inactiveness, the sleep of towers.
For now when streets are silent, and earth sways
gently in the night's caressing cradle,
keels run awake and easily in curled seas
and sailors dream above the steady needle;
and the dark hands of hills drop to the earth
their violet wreath.
Sail in my silence like the electric swan:
hands on the pane
are trembling, minutes prowl for enemies;
feet are in haunted places, no rockets rise.
Come like the bird, come like the branch-flowered river,
to the unbuilding of our living earth:
out of all oceans morning's neck of silver
bursts and will sing, and part us with her breath.
Then hammers fall, and wings, and one awakes;
and the bough breaks.