The Defeat of Youth and Other Poems
From other lives, from the old happiness
Of being more than self, when heart to heart
Gave all, yet grew the greater, not the less.
XXII. THE QUARRY IN THE WOOD.
Swiftly deliberate, he seeks the place.
A small wind stirs, the copse is bright in the sun:
Like quicksilver the shine and shadow run
Across the leaves. A bramble whips his face,
The tears spring fast, and through the rainbow mist
He sees a world that wavers like the flame
Of a blown candle. Tears of pain and shame,
And lips that once had laughed and sung and kissed
Trembling in the passion of his sobbing breath!
The world a candle shuddering to its death,
And life a darkness, blind and utterly void
Of any love or goodness: all deceit,
This friendship and this God: all shams destroyed,
And truth seen now.
Earth fails beneath his feet.
SONG OF POPLARS
Shepherd, to yon tall poplars tune your flute: