Overheard on a Saltmarsh
NYMPH, nymph, what are your beads?
Green glass, goblin. Why do you stare at them?
Give them me.
Give them me. Give them me.
Then I will howl all night in the reeds,
Lie in the mud and howl for them.
Goblin, why do you love them so?
They are better than stars or water,
Better than voices of winds that sing,
Better than any man's fair daughter,
Your green glass beads on a silver ring.
Hush, I stole them out of the moon.
Give me your beads. I desire them.
I will howl in a deep lagoon
For your green glass beads, I love them so.
Give them me. Give them.
A Flower is Looking through the Ground
FLOWER is looking through the ground,
Blinking at the April weather;
Now a child has seen the flower:
Now they go and play together.
Now it seems the flower will speak,
And will call the child its brother—
But, oh strange forgetfulness!—
They don't recognize each other.
Man Carrying Bale
THE tough hand closes gently on the load;
Out of the mind, a voice
Calls 'Lift!' and the arms, remembering well their work,
Lengthen and pause for help.
Then a slow ripple flows from head to foot
While all the muscles call to one another:
'Lift!' and the bulging bale
Floats like a butterfly in June.
So moved the earliest carrier of bales,
And the same watchful sun
Glowed through his body feeding it with light.
So will the last one move,
And halt, and dip his head, and lay his load
Down, and the muscles will relax and tremble.
Earth, you designed your man
Beautiful both in labour and repose.