Go, death, give ground, for none of yours is here.
Weep with no sound, figures around a well.
Here gales knock down the chestnuts year on year,
And block with leaves the entry to the temple.
There the inscription no man’s eyes can spell,
Archaic, in the forgotten character.
Sleeps near the nymph the font that christened her,
A shell unfastening to the vanished marvel.
Apart, life suffering in a tale of shadows,
Her patience lives, like light on infants’ graves.
Rain drowns their names, the ground is full of echoes,
And there are rainbows buried in her naves.
Night cancels debts, the prince’s and the slave’s,
And one stays true, though quitted by his fellows.
The winter earth forsaken by the swallows
Rocks through blind storms their nest of cloistered waves.
The seasons’ ritual offerings, fruit and leaves,
Die at her feet. Hazel and chestnut dressed
Fall; but her tomb for men no increase gives.
Here for the thirsty no quick vats are pressed.
Yet brings her breathless love light quietest,
Light for the doomed, and for the lost, reprieves,
The ring-dove’s changing light, heaven found through olives;
Call it all names, but do not call it rest.
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