I climbed by night a rocky wooded hill,
Following at random tangled paths I knew,
Embracing every wandering wind that still
Escaped me like the shadow I pursue.
Two ravens rose at my approach and flew
With raucous cries above my head to light
On branches further off. I watched their flight,
While through the trees the moon trailed into view.
The leaves reflected back its ghostly light.
I watched it rise and hang above the hill,
Sat still and watched and listened all the night,
Listened the whole night through intent and still
To all the many murmuring sounds that fill
The darkness in the woods, till I could seize
The song the moonlight sang above the trees.
I did not feel the dewfall or the chill.
When I recall the joys I knew that night,
The words arise to die upon my tongue.
The air grew very cold, the sky grew bright,
The long procession of the stars had swung
From east to west, the gusts of morning stung
My lips and cheeks. I stayed there till the sun
Warmed with its rays the rock I sat upon
And all the matin bird-songs had been sung.
Eros Will I Now Invoke
Thus are consumed the fruitful years.
Now, later, always, the same -
Caged and suspended powers.
Days that depart as they came.
Blank empty pages.
Spaces of torpor that stretch into ages.
Waiting that wastes and devours.
Weary of wounds, sated with tears,
Having sounded my destiny long,
And found nowhere scope,
I stand now to invoke
The one all-absorbing emotion and hope,
To make me amends for the wrong.
I invoke it as ransom of all things, to be
Supreme and unique reimbursement for me.
Sonnet: Go Freely
Go freely, never having overstepped
The ring and boundary that encircles me.
Go, and without reproach. You are not He.
No blame accrues to you that I have wept.
Two scriptures of two separate mysteries, kept
Apart for those alone with eyes to see
Their relevance and read, may never be
Reciprocally unsealed. That I accept.
Our souls have this in common: They assign
To each a rocky, arid, serpentine
Track in the wilderness to walk alone.
But nowhere in those deserts yours and mine
Meet, nor can all my sympathies divine
Your goals -- They are so distant from my own.
If you have any comments on these poems, Ann Keith would be
pleased to hear from you.