The Desert

There are no fallen leaves in the desert, this
Is not that Vallombrosa of the brooks
Sung by the poets in their numbered books,
It is a hag-land, under the blasting kiss
Of a pitiless lover. If ever there was bliss
Of youth and grace here, moving in bowered nooks —
Fled now like finches when coarse-clapping rooks
Invade their neighborhood of maple trees.
This was my sin-burned soul, this were my soul
Only for earthquake of the sacraments
Loosening great floods like torrents of the past
That swept my barrenness from pole to pole,
Till ruin breaks in blossomed penitence
Spring after sweet spring lovelier than the last.
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