Such pejorative deformities of sound Without meaningful speech or musical equipoise, Annoyances none but hoi polloi enjoys, Through our winding whispering galleries resound Unwelcome, & like a tedious siege surround Us with that ubiquitous nuisance, noise, Which may take the shape of inflated reputation, Able neither to stun, astonish nor astound Those whom obscene publicity annoys, Who prefer the decent obscurity of publication. & Regardless of the weird world's disregard, These works may be devoted to the wastebasket Like the forgotten forgeries of some casket Letters, scored for posterity & scarred By repentance. Sentenced to a futility of hard Leisure, answer nothing but the task it Asks, apart from any eternal return. Perhaps a masterpiece, unmade, unmarred, Awaits the patient skill that will unmask it. A lifetime passes as the phrases turn. & Immured in a single-occupancy cell, Each day indistinguishable from the next, & nearly inextinguishable, perplexed How all manner of things shall nevertheless be well, Will a celibate selfish as a shellfish spell Out a corrupt & uncorrected text So that each deleted syllable counts? Solitude is helpless to dispel Questions as exceptionably vexed As unaccountable love's unaudited accounts. & To keep your cell the way you keep your soul, Untidy-minded, neither soiled nor sold For next to nothing, a treasury of old Notions like the notes of a piano-roll Which cannot improvise though it knows a whole Repertoire, what ought one to withhold? Idiosyncrasy is nobody else's business. Of all omens the soul provides the sole Depository. How many oceans can it hold In its infinite & unfathomable isness? & Sealed & secured, the contents of this room Turned our intimate alcove into a closet Concealed behind a dirty bookcase: was it A conservatory or a living room, This stanza become a catacomb or tomb That serves as a temporary safe deposit Vault for your perduring lost & found Mind, which articulately could presume To ask of being what could cause it, A question as unanswerable as profound. & Up the steps of imperfection we stumble & stall, Blind upstarts, our feeble feet astray & unstable, Panting after perfections we are no more able To encompass than an imaginative animal. While some describe the world as round as a ball, Others maintain that it is flat like a table. Its shape is immaterial, there like the air. Better, perhaps, to be sorry than safe after all, Seeing no security could enable One to scale unscathed the inexorable stair.
Below the gardens and the darkening pines
The living water sinks among the stones,
Sinking yet foaming till the snowy tones
Merge with the fog drawn landward in dim lines.
The cloud dissolves among the flowering vines,
And now the definite mountain-side disowns
The fluid world, the immeasurable zones.
Then white oblivion swallows all designs.
But still the rich confusion of the sea,
Unceasing voice, sombre and solacing,
Rises through veils of silence past the trees;
In restless repetition bound, yet free,
Wave after wave in deluge fresh releasing
An ancient speech, hushed in tremendous ease.