How, when my emerald voices pray
In the crystal heart, and the bright chimes
Sound along the shoals of day,
Shall I not hunt among the stones
To touch Your shadowed silent lips,
And listen in my vaults of bone
To those wave-shattered psalms of sea
That promise soon, O my bright shade!,
The flame that bends my soul to Thee?
For is not prayer that trace of flame,
That sign seen once in silhouette
Between the edge of stars and earth,
That place where winds on water step?
And if I read in heaven pale
These ancient signs, these lines on slate,
That in translation tell Your tale
As if Your tale was burned in bone,
And kept in halls of bronze and stone,
Would I then touch Your fading face
No man can read or waking see?
Would you emerge from stone to say
Our history begins today?
I speak, I know, I know, at slant,
And seldom cleave the circle straight,
But Your geometries enchant,
While I stand frozen at Your gate.
Yet still I sense such centers touch,
As deep as senses hope to know,
In this rose room that hovers high
Above all memory of snow.
And so above the ocean I,
Released from life, from earth entire,
Relive within this room of steel
The ashen memory of Your fire.
That in such mansions once I slept,
Most fortunate of all blessed men,
And breathed Your breath,
Embraced Your heart,
That my stilled heart might beat again.