His acres, golden now the light is late,
And the fields sweet of breath in the cool air,
The man walks out to ponder the estate
Of man-on-acres—and his feet will fare
Toward no intended corner of his lands,
Being content to feel the upward press
Of earth familiar where he moves or stands
In a lost dream where thought is less and less—
Where house . . . and wife . . . and child
that bear his name,
Are less than nameless leaves on any stream,
Since the door closed behind him and he came,
Dumb and nostalgic, to this older dream
That was before his labor or his love:
The passion that himself was fashioned of.
II. Portrait of His Mother
He wanders where the brook is still
And where the fruited bough is shorn
To naked orchards on the hill,
And crows are rising from the corn—
And earth, who bore the man, will lie Unmindful of his being by . . .
Till such a time as corn is green,
No longer blackened by the crows,
And he may see what he has seen
And know again the thing he knows—
Till such a time, he wanders bowed
And orphaned, all but disavowed.
In this blue light that hovers over snow
And brings the early stars above the hill,
The man walks out, alone and small and slow,
Being lost to time and place, and void of will—
Reading no more the clock that was the sky,
That is too wide and empty and withdrawn,
Knowing no east or west to travel by
And all but selfless where his feet have gone.
Here where all ways are blue and trembling air,
Horizons, all, obliterate and blind,
The man has lost the trinket, time, somewhere,
In legendary place, long left behind,
And here, unsure, a child, he learns to take
Some first, slow steps for journeys yet to make.
The man erect had walked this far
Before he lost a way to go
Between the shining of a star
Above him, and the earth below;
And having sent his guest ahead
To countries that she calls her own,
He gave his dust this proper bed,
And marked it with the sister stone.