I planned for poems to be dressed in steel
and spider's-lace of harpstrings, that the flesh
(its nakedness unseen to pulse or feel)
dance under spectra in that singing mesh.

I grew my orchards with no living fruit:
poems were trees of wind-hung prisms, each
bejewelled like a grotto, the quick root
stalagmite-risen to stone plum or peach.

Time to shed filigree and crystal for
the naked body and the bitten drupe;
maze-music now, and rainbow-glass, no more,
but the high bird and the clear-polished loupe.

Now my faience and hippocras of rhyme
are shamed by peace of water and of delf;
the poet-archer tramples (it is time)
the poem-python that encoils itself.

This was the last root fertile, and this tree
shall bear its prisms too.  But these are all:
and the last music in the sky shall be
a breaking string; and then the axes' fall.