Still afloat: persevering at each shore
That may seem, would I comply,
To render me ensconced... the voyage to draw
Beyond the compass,
And what is more its buoyancy to sustain,
While dashing billows the old sails try
Life's vigil to conclude with life's refrain-
The calm before the storm.
The pond'rous fetters of the storm
Cling when untethered
Upon the floor they smite.
Thus given vent sways the storm in revelry
And brazen mockery.
Why plunge into a wat'ry grave
And wreck upon sea's edge
Never to reach for which I crave
And my very soul might pledge?
Against the waves the vessel was matched
And intermin'bly, when overcome's the breach,
From high upon the breakers launched and dispatched
Until at the craggy beach,
Where shattered rest the carcass,
Now subject to decay,
And scattered tangly slivers of wood,
Bound to rot away.
What holds is but of brittle bone,
A canopy of curved boughs,
Neither grave nor engraved stone,
In oblivion to drowse.
Lest of the cliff the mere base be the end,
Do I scale the precipice
Without wings which larks from ether suspend
While gapes below the deep abyss.
But vertigo alone,
Though precarious th'ascent remains aloft,
Cannot tip the balance nor respite prompt
Nor win the last moan,
But comes another, the tone still soft.
Then trees recede and lend me view,
A glade remote, briars piercing through
A mossy couch a singing lady's made,
Until again they cast their shades.
So did thoughts: suggest to me still
The quiet of a dark repose
And at the same time inspire will
The primrose path to oppose.
Either way I will proceed.
Why slacken a sluggish pace,
When toil may very relief concede
I can well-nigh embrace?
Since here is not where I can rest assured
That to rest my lay be laid,
Since proximity has ardour restored,
What can me dissuade?
But, should I leap at the wall?
The timeless cauldron gape I saw,
The void in which to drown my cares
And stifle my but hoarse-worn call,
When yet again I wash ashore.
The winces stirred by wry convulsions:
Stagnant are the ancient waters:
Of what green's that sheet of moss
With which my bed she drapes?
Nothing more but the amb'guity
Which consuming decay or growth shapes,
A sheet with which to smother me,
Makes me argue the self-imposed toss.
Have I thus wrought a shift of aim?
What mysteries does she hold, or hold
Divulged, but me against my will?
How can beauty that's static and cold
Yet lose itself, and lose me still
For I am resolute?
"Like a wolf in sheep's clothing,
"Is even willingness no
Beyond resilience your headstrong
Fever carries on".
No and even so yes
This selfsame state, once the port
Now the sojourn, one of call,
The height has crumbled
Or have I in this:
Bent and snapped the tight-stringed neck
As to the heart,
When no string can life uphold,
Numb and stale within a wreck.
The question dawns upon me,
Whether the encounter I might have created
As such without authority
Or I was the Proteus.
Still afloat: the isle receding
Into the distance, as level upon level was closed
In mists the hindsight impeding,
The tide of aurora has another day posed.