Try and don't let me grieve
Try and don't let me grieve. Come and try to extinguish
This wild onslaught of sadness that rumbles like mercury in Torricellian void.
Madness, try and forbid me to feel, come and try!
Do not let me rant on about you! We're alone-don't be shy.
Now, extinguish it, do! Only-hotter!
Beneath the willow wound round with ivy
we take cover from the worst
of the storm, with a greatcoat round
our shoulders and my hands around your waist.
I've got it wrong. That isn't ivy
entwined in the bushes round
the wood, but hops. You intoxicate me!
Let's spread the greatcoat on the ground.
Under osiers with ivy ingrown
We are trying to hide from bad weather.
I am clasping your arms in my own,
In one cloak we are huddled together.
I was wrong. Not with ivy-leaves bound,
But with hops overgrown is the willow.
Well then, let us spread out on the ground
This our cloak as a sheet and a pillow.
I am finished, but you live on.
And the wind, crying and moaning,
rocks the house and the clearing,
not each pine alone,
but all the trees together,
with the vast distance, whole,
like the hulls of vessels,
moored in a bay, storm-blown.
And it shakes them not from mischief,
and not with an aimless tone,
but to find, for you, from its grief,
the words of a cradle-song.
It's spring, I leave a street where poplars...
It's spring, I leave a street where poplars are astonished,
Where distance is alarmed and the house fears it may fall.
Where air is blue just like the linen bundle
A discharged patient takes from hospital,
Where dusk is empty, like a broken tale,
Abandoned by a star, without conclusion,
So that expressionless, unfathomable,
A thousand clamouring eyes are in confusion.
‘Like a brazier’s bronze cinders,’
Like a brazier’s bronze cinders,
the sleepy garden’s beetles flowing.
Level with me, and my candle,
a flowering world is hanging.
As if into unprecedented faith,
I cross into this night,
where the poplar’s beaten grey
veils the moon’s rim from sight.
Where the pond’s an open secret,
where apple-trees whisper of waves,
where the garden hanging on piles,
holds the sky before its face.
The garden scatters burnt-up beetles...
The garden scatters burnt-up beetles
Like brazen ash, from braziers burst.
I witness, by my lighted candle,
A newly blossomed universe.
And like a not yet known religion
I enter this unheard of night,
In which the shabbily-grey poplar
Has curtained off the lunar light.
The pond is a presented secret.
Oh, whispers of the appletree!
The garden hangs-a pile construction,
And holds the sky in front of me.
I am no more but you live on,
And the wind, whining and complaining,
Is shaking house and forest, straining
Not single fir trees one by one
But the whole wood, all trees together,
With all the distance far and wide,
Like sail-less yachts in stormy weather
When moored within a bay they lie.
And this not out of wanton pride
Or fury bent on aimless wronging,
But to provide a lullaby
For you with words of grief and longing,
At twilight the swifts have no power,
to hold back that pale blue coolness.
It bursts from throats, a clamour
an outpour that can’t grow less.
The swifts have no way, high
up there, overhead, of restraining
their clarion cries: ‘O, triumph,
see, see, how the earth’s receding!’
Like steam from a boiling kettle,
the furious flow rushes by –
‘See, see – no space for the earth
between the ravine and the sky.’
A boat came in; the cliff was baked;
The noisy boat-chain fell and clanked on
The sand-an iron rattle-snake,
A rattling rust among the plankton.
And two got out; and from the cliff
I felt like calling down, 'Forgive me,
But would you kindly throw yourselves
Apart or else into the river?
Your miming is without a fault-
Of course the seeker finds the fancied-
But stop this playing with the boat!
Your model on the cliff resents it.'