Four songs I’ll sing to you
From the four seasons taken,
Each of them partly true; . . .
Showing you how once-shaken
Like autumn; like winter, stoic, sad;
Elated like early spring
I am; like summer, equally laden
With fruit of matron-mind and maiden.
Four songs I’ll sing
To you- flute voices anyone
Might, from all nature fancy and seize on.
Since it is well in singing songs to you
I should select those clear and general
Moods-in-the-earth mankind has known so well,
Four songs I’ll sing to you,
And amply sing.
But to these affirmations will you add
Nothing you see in nature, no, nothing
Something no summer mirrors, an outline
No moon will stamp with her official shine,
Something not sung by me, but mine;
Added, if added, by its like in you.
Four songs I’ll sing to you.
False, candid art!
So much of me as is not me
I give to you, re-worded, with all my heart.
Then, done with seasons, sun and moon and sea,
Knowing their symbols no more than little-true,
I wait the sure rejoinder-monody
That comes when I am done, from listening you.
What else I am you are implored to sense
At your own pains. Our odd identity
Cannot be sung. In us, this difference
No metaphor from nature can supply.
So if I would, I could not further, I,
Whose words past this monotony are all mistaken;
Four songs I’ll sing to you, never to die,
From the four seasons taken.