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Monologue at Midnight


ISSUE:  Summer 1936

Among the pines we ran and called
In joy and innocence, and still
Our voices doubled in the high
Green groining our simplicity.

And we have heard the windward hound
Bell in the frosty vault of dark.
(Then what pursuit?) How soundlessly
The maple shed its pollen in the sun.

Season by season from the skein
Unwound, of earth and of our pleasure:
And always at the side, like guilt,
Our shadow o’er the grasses moved

Or moved across the moonlit snow;
And move across the grass or snow.
Or was it guilt? Philosophers
Loll in their disputatious ease.

The match flame, sudden in the gloom,
Is lensed within each watching eye
Less intricate, less small, than in
One heart the other’s image is.

Hound or echo, flame or shadow . . .
And which am I and which are you?
And are we Time who flee so fast,
Or stone who stand and thus endure?

Our mathematic yet has use
For the integers of blessedness:
Listen! the poor deluded cock
Salutes the coldness of no-dawn.

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