by Don Marquis (1878-1889)
Have I not know the sky and sea
Put on a look as hushed and stilled
As if some ancient prophecy
Drew on to be fulfilled?
And would it be so strange a thing,
Among the rainy hills of Spring
A veritable god to see
In luminous reality?
To see him pass, as bursts of sun
Pass over the valleys and are gone?
Have I not seen the candid street
Grow secret in the blaze of noon,
Swaying before the Paraclete
Who weaves its being through his rune?
And would it be too strange to say
I see a dead man come this way?
Like mist the houses shrink and swell,
Like blood the highways throb and beat,
The sapless stones beneath my feet
Turn foliate with miracle;
And from the crowd my dead men come,
Fragrant with youth… and living mirth
Moves lips and eyes that once were dumb
And blinded in the charnel earth.
And I have dwelt with Presences
Behind the veils of Time and Place
And hearkened to the silences
that guard the courts of grace,
And I have dared the Distances
Where the red planets race—
And I have seen that Near and Far
And god and Man and Avatar
And Life and Death but one thing are—
And I have seen this wingless world
Curst with impermanence and whirled
Like dust across the Summer swirled,
And I have seen this world a star
All wonderful in Space!