The Shadow of Death

The earth again like a ship steams out of the dark sea over
The edge of the blue, and the sun stands up to see us glide
Slowly into another day; slowly the rover
Vessel of darkness takes the rising tide.

I, on the deck, am startled by this dawn confronting
Me who am issued amazed from the darkness, stripped
And quailing here in the sunshine, betrayed from haunting
The soundless night whereon our days are shipped

Feeling myself undawning, the day's light playing upon me,
I who am substance of shadow, I all compact
Of the stuff of the night, finding myself all wrongly
Among crowds of things in the sunshine jostled and racked

I with the night on my lips, I sigh with the silence of death;
And what do I care though the very stones should cry me unreal, though the clouds
Shine in conceit of substance upon me, who am less than the rain!
Do I not know the darkness within them? What are they but shrouds?

The clouds go down the sky with a wealthy ease,
Casting a shadow of scorn upon me for my share in death; but I
Hold my own in the midst of them, darkling defy
The whole of the day to extinguish the shadow I lift on the breeze.

Yea, though the very clouds have vantage over me
Enjoying their glancing flight, though love is dead,
I still am not homeless here, I've a tent by day
Of darkness whereon she sleeps on her perfect bed.
Rate this poem: 

Reviews

No reviews yet.