Red Moon-Rise

The train, in running across the weald, has fallen into a steadier stroke,
So even, it beats like silence, and sky and earth in one unbroke
Embrace of darkness lie around, and crushed between them, all the loose
And littered lettering of trees and hills and houses closed, and we can use
The open book of landscape no more, for the covers of darkness have shut upon
Its figured pages, and sky and earth and all between are closed in one.

And we are crushed between the covers, we close our eyes and say “Hush!” We try
To escape in sleep the terror of this great bivalve darkness, and we lie
Rounded like pearls, for sleep.—And then, from between shut lips of the darkness, red
As if from the womb the slow moon rises, as if the twin-walled darkness had bled
In a new night-spasm of birth, and given us this new red moon-rise
Which lies on the knees of the night-time ruddy, and makes us hide our eyes.

The train beats frantic in haste, and struggles away
From this rosy terror of birth that has slid down
From out of the loins of night, to glow in our way
Like a portent; but, Lord, I am glad, so glad, I drown
My fear in accepting the portent. The train can now
Not pass the red moon risen, and I am glad,
Glad as the Magi were when they saw the brow
Of the hot-born infant bless the folly which had
Led them thither to peace;
for now I know
The world within worlds is a womb, whence issues all
The shapeliness that decks us here-below:
And the same fire that boils within this ball
Of earth, and quickens all herself with flowers,
Is womb-fire in the stiffened clay of us:

And every flash of thought that we and ours
Send suddenly out, and every gesture, does
Fly like a spark into the womb of passion,
To start a birth, from joy of the begetting.

World within worlds a womb, that gives and takes;
Gives us all forth, that we may give again
The seed of life incarnate, that falls and wakes
Within the womb, new shapes, and then, new men.

And pangs of birth, and joy of the begetting,
And sweat of labour, and the meanest fashion
Of fretting or of gladness, shows the jetting
Of a trail of our small fire on the darkened sky
Where we can see it, our fire to the innermost fire
Leaping like spray, in the return of passion.

And even in the watery shells that lie
Alive within the oozy under-mire,
A grain of this same fire we can descry
Spurting to soothe the womb's unslaked desire.

And so, from out the screaming birds that fly
Across the heavens when the storm leaps higher,
And from the swirling, angry folk that try
To come at last to that which they require,
And from the men that dance, and the girls that laugh,
And the flower that puts its tongue out, and fern that puffs
Dust as the puff-ball does, and birds that chaff
And chitter, and wind that shakes and cuffs
The branches, invisible seed of experience blows
Into the womb of the worlds, that nothing knows.

And though it be love's wet blue eyes that cry
To the other love, to relinquish his desire,
Even there I see a blue spark that will fly
Into the womb, to kindle an unknown fire.
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