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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Evening Song Of Senlin by Conrad Aiken

from Senlin: A Biography 

It is moonlight. Alone in the silence 
I ascend my stairs once more, 
While waves, remote in a pale blue starlight, 
Crash on a white sand shore. 
It is moonlight. The garden is silent. 
I stand in my room alone. 
Across my wall, from the far-off moon, 
A rain of fire is thrown . . . 
There are houses hanging above the stars, 
And stars hung under a sea: 
And a wind from the long blue vault of time 
Waves my curtain for me . . . 
I wait in the dark once more, 
Swung between space and space: 
Before my mirror I lift my hands 
And face my remembered face. 
Is it I who stand in a question here, 
Asking to know my name? . . . 
It is I, yet I know not whither I go, 
Nor why, nor whence I came. 
It is I, who awoke at dawn 
And arose and descended the stair, 
Conceiving a god in the eye of the sun,—
In a woman's hands and hair. 
It is I whose flesh is gray with the stones 
I builded into a wall: 
With a mournful melody in my brain 
Of a tune I cannot recall . . . 
There are roses to kiss: and mouths to kiss; 
And the sharp-pained shadow of death. 
I remember a rain-drop on my cheek,—
A wind like a fragrant breath . . . 
And the star I laugh on tilts through heaven; 
And the heavens are dark and steep . . . 
I will forget these things once more 
In the silence of sleep.

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