And this the Sonne is overal
The chief Planete imperial,
Above him and benethe him thre:
And thus between hem regneth he.
(John Gower: Confessio Amantis, vii, 865-8)
Under the rings and green of syrup-water
the great pond-fish in pewter, darkly weaving,
flutter their waving twilight. But to the watcher
warm in another nature, living the sun,
no creature, none, stirs in those coiled abysses;
and where those feathered nooses run, no dreamer
guesses the man, the summer, or his maker.
Now lean above and play the manna-maker:
here where the willows chequer the skylit water,
scatter your bread. The lurker and the dreamer
loom their cold glitter to the warmer sun:
swimmer by swimmer, one by one, come weaving
up from the laving of their spun abysses -
great heaving fish lift faces towards the watcher.
Fierce in appalling blue there stands the Watcher,
fire of our nurture, shining-weather-maker,
walker in awful stature of abysses.
All those pale gases' weaker light the Sun
disperses with his own, as his the water:
those outer mysteries burn, invisibly weaving,
brighter by his removing from the dreamer.
Sunless infinity will drown the dreamer
though, by the glimmer of the stars, the watcher
nightly - the stitcher of that dimmer weaving,
by night believing in a future sun -
calls it the crown of loving of our Maker:
darker than fish in their strange town of water,
day-bitter stars flicker in blind abysses.
Out of the poet's pardons and abysses
the verses rise like fish; around the dreamer
the glamour of wild spaces rolls like water:
fact will not flatter - the armour of the sun
breaks down; there is no quarter for the watcher.
Though richer by his wane, with sun the makar
- searcher of meeker stars - heddles their weaving.
Poems and stars and fish, all darkly weaving,
sieving the mystery of their proud abysses,
go roving - secret races - till the makar
undresses, for the waker in the sun,
beauties that shun the talker and the dreamer:
the lying moon is for the rhymer, the watcher
of selves that shimmer on a pitcher of water.
For mystery is the poem's night and water:
daughter of truth, clad in the spectral weaving
of her begetter our cold-earth-wiving Watcher,
she - marcher about that unforgiving Sun
whose archer-beams we enthrone in wheeled abysses -
wears unknown light's embraces, until the dreamer
ceases to murmur against stars or Maker.