ONCE IN A MAGIC HOUR
Come friend, bar fast the shutter,
The candle’s burning low;
The morrow’s lips shall utter The dawn’s recurrent woe.
Here in a magic hour We met, who dwell apart,
And speech was clothed with power Interpreting the heart.
Tomorrow on bowed shoulder Shall rest the crushing sky,
And who tells why is bolder Than either you or I.
Each tragic dawn the son of man Rears a new heaven in air,
Shaping it infinite in span,
And infinitely fair.
The compass of its arch is wrought Unto his heart’s demand;
He dreams it nobler than his thought,
And higher than his hand.
And no heart dares to curse its hope In the heaven it lifts up Lest sky, and earth should telescope Like a broken cup,
Leaving no space for dreams that grow To measure low and high. . . .
And, knowing only this, we know ‘Tis ours to hold the sky.
So snuff the flame, and bar the door,
And I’ll into the night;
We’ll lift the burden as of yore With the reddening of light.
But once in a magic hour
We met, who dwell apart,
And speech was clothed with power
Interpreting the heart.