O mind, beset by music never for a moment quiet, –
The wind at the flue, the wind strumming the shutter;
The soft, antiphonal speech of the doubled brook, never for a
The rush of the rain against the glass, his voice in the eaves-
Where shall I lay you to sleep, and the robins be quiet?
Lay you to sleep – and the frogs be silent in the marsh?
Crashes the sleet from the bough and the bough sighs upward,
never for a moment quiet.
April is upon us, pitiless and young and harsh.
O April, full of blood, full of breath, have pity upon us!
Pale, where the winter like a stone has been lifted away, we
emerge like yellow grass.
Be for a moment quiet, buffet us not, have pity upon us,
Till the green come back into the vein, till the giddiness pass.
How innocent we lie among
The righteous!–Lord, how sweet we smell,
Doing this wicked thing, this love,
Bought up by bishops!–doing well,
With all our leisure, all our pride,
What’s illy done and done in haste
By licensed folk on every side,
Spitting out fruit before they taste.
(That stalk must thrust a clubby bud,
Push an abortive flower to birth.)
Under the moon and the lit scud
Of the clouds, the cool conniving earth
Pillows my head, where your head lies;
Weep, if you must, into my hair
Tomorrow’s trouble: the cold eyes
That know you gone and wonder where.
But tell the bishops with their sons,
Shout to the City Hall how we
Under a thick barrage of guns
Filched their divine commodity.
No matter what I say,
All that I really love
Is the rain that flattens on the bay,
And the eel-grass in the cove;
The jingle-shells that lie and bleach
At the tide-line, and the trace
Of higher tides along the beach:
Nothing in this place.
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.
All night there isn’t a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.
My heart is warm with friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I’d rather take,
No matter where it’s going.