Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Such a moon as this

I have seen such a moon as this:

as a bell would dispel all lingering sound,

or compel all lingering sound to surround her

virginal -- not inexperienced -- nymphs

in the echoing well of starlight: clear

as bore my cloudless dreams. Although

my eyes are clouded now, I see

her wildly pale and full before me,

still as the quivering streams my dogs

disturbed (their barking lilt of unlit

brass, my hearing fades to moonstruck

black, and dims their raucous din).

Thus I believe in rightfully seeing

a rose, and wonder at its not blushing,

or a graceful lily of seas. With handfuls

of lilies "would I behold her loftier

mood" some cold and clarifying

night, offer as sacrifice

myself and break a promise of old.

Although I loved your mother, my daughers,

I have worshipped at another's altar

and been the better for it. For when

I could not discover a human

woman's dreams, her slender arrival,

her waxing full and aglow as rounded

hip, her naked cupfuls deep

of age and grief and return: this vision

unearned by me redeemed an earlier

thief, and seemed to soothe inherited

burns in a wild ecstasy

of silver, nights too brightly lit for sleep.

(Edited 2 December 2009, begun 30 November 2009. A lovely moon in sight, a lovely poem to cite, a bit of compass feeling or Sexton (Anne; the instrument) feeling: all interrupted another poem in progress, and I while giving in -- acting on? actaeoning on? -- I wondered about authorial fidelity.)

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