Old sailors making landfall (but the tide
unruly and the wind uncertain) boast,
in their home port, of beauties undescribed.
Fog had kept modest all that skirted coast;
no matter, legends knew the hinterland:
all was a cradle of lotos, flower or fruit;
islanders gentle, jewels many, and
the strongest storm as lulling as a flute.

Or so they say; and so the maps are made.
Valleys and orchards, gardens and springs, are guessed;
even the shape, that never was surveyed,
they make what symbol satisfies them best.
Only - one thrust of conscience? - at the centre
their lying falters, their inventions lapse:
these are the woods not even thought might enter.
There are white spaces on the best of maps.

Legends are built of longing: my own ship,
wind-racked and wary, hovers off the shore
of your enshrouded island; hand and lip 
know little of that Eden, guess the more;
eyes (fox-hair, elf-rose, firm and delicate wand)
map all your beauty in the veils' despite
- shine for the apples and the flowers beyond;
but fall before your secrecies of white.