Satires of Circumstance1914'Whenever I plunge my arm, like this,In a basin of water, I never missThe sweet sharp sense of a fugitive dayFetched back from its thickening shroud of gray.Hence the only primeAnd real love-rhymeThat I know by heart,And that leaves no smart,Is the purl of a little valley fallAbout three spans wide and two spans tallOver a table of solid rock,And into a scoop of the self-same block;The purl of a runlet that never ceasesIn stir of kingdoms, in wars, in peaces;With a hollow boiling voice it speaksAnd has spoken since hills were turfless peaks.''And why gives this the only primeIdea to you of a real love-rhyme?And why does plunging your arm in a bowlFull of spring water, bring throbs to your soul?''Well, under the fall, in a crease of the stone,Though precisely where none ever has known,Jammed darkly, nothing to show how prized,And by now with its smoothness opalized,Is a grinking glass:For, down that passMy lover and IWalked under a skyOf blue with a leaf-wove awning of green,In the burn of August, to paint the scene,And we placed our basket of fruit and wineBy the runlet's rim, where we sat to dine;And when we had drunk from the glass together,Arched by the oak-copse from the weather,I held the vessel to rinse in the fall,Where it slipped, and it sank, and was past recall,Though we stooped and plumbed the little abyssWith long bared arms. There the glass still is.And, as said, if I thrust my arm belowCold water in a basin or bowl, a throeFrom the past awakens a sense of that time,And the glass we used, and the cascade's rhyme.The basin seems the pool, and its edgeThe hard smooth face of the brook-side ledge,And the leafy pattern of china-wareThe hanging plants that were bathing there.'By night, by day, when it shines or lours,There lies intact that chalice of ours,And its presence adds to the rhyme of lovePersistently sung by the fall above.No lip has touched it since his and mineIn turns therefrom sipped lovers' wine.'
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