The Collected Poems1956It is no night to drown in:
A full moon, river lapsing
Black beneath bland mirror-sheen,The blue water-mists dropping
Scrim after scrim like fishnets
Though fishermen are sleeping,The massive castle turrets
Doubling themselves in a glass
All stillness. Yet these shapes floatUp toward me, troubling the face
Of quiet. From the nadir
They rise, their limbs ponderousWith richness, hair heavier
Than sculptured marble. They sing
Of a world more full and clearThan can be. Sisters, your song
Bears a burden too weighty
For the whorled ear's listeningHere, in a well-steered country,
Under a balanced ruler.
Deranging by harmonyBeyond the mundane order,
Your voices lay siege. You lodge
On the pitched reefs of nightmare,Promising sure harborage;
By day, descant from borders
Of hebetude, from the ledgeAlso of high windows. Worse
Even than your maddening
Song, your silence. At the sourceOf your ice-hearted calling --
Drunkenness of the great depths.
O river, I see driftingDeep in your flux of silver
Those great goddesses of peace.
Stone, stone, ferry me down there.
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