I hear voices singing, and lovely silver trumpets through it all. They seem

just on the other side of the wall. Let me keep my baby, Holy Mother.

He is only a poor lace-maker's baby, with a stain upon him,

but give me strength to bring him up to be a man.

Late September

Tang of fruitage in the air;

Red boughs bursting everywhere;

Shimmering of seeded grass;

Hooded gentians all a'mass.

Warmth of earth, and cloudless wind

Tearing off the husky rind,

Blowing feathered seeds to fall

By the sun-baked, sheltering wall.

Beech trees in a golden haze;

Hardy sumachs all ablaze,

Glowing through the silver birches.

How that pine tree shouts and lurches!

From the sunny door-jamb high,

Swings the shell of a butterfly.

Scrape of insect violins

Through the stubble shrilly dins.

Every blade's a minaret

Where a small muezzin's set,

Loudly calling us to pray

At the miracle of day.

Then the purple-lidded night

Westering comes, her footsteps light

Guided by the radiant boon

Of a sickle-shaped new moon.

The Pike

In the brown water,

Thick and silver-sheened in the sunshine,

Liquid and cool in the shade of the reeds,

A pike dozed.

Lost among the shadows of stems

He lay unnoticed.

Suddenly he flicked his tail,

And a green-and-copper brightness

Ran under the water.

Out from under the reeds

Came the olive-green light,

And orange flashed up

Through the sun-thickened water.

So the fish passed across the pool,

Green and copper,

A darkness and a gleam,

And the blurred reflections of the willows on the opposite bank

Received it.

The Blue Scarf

Pale, with the blue of high zeniths, shimmered over with silver, brocaded

In smooth, running patterns, a soft stuff, with dark knotted fringes,

it lies there,

Warm from a woman's soft shoulders, and my fingers close on it, caressing.

Where is she, the woman who wore it? The scent of her lingers and drugs me!

A languor, fire-shotted, runs through me, and I crush the scarf down

on my face,

And gulp in the warmth and the blueness, and my eyes swim

in cool-tinted heavens.

Around me are columns of marble, and a diapered, sun-flickered pavement.

Rose-leaves blow and patter against it. Below the stone steps a lute tinkles.

A jar of green jade throws its shadow half over the floor. A big-bellied

Frog hops through the sunlight and plops in the gold-bubbled water of a basin,

Sunk in the black and white marble. The west wind has lifted a scarf

On the seat close beside me, the blue of it is a violent outrage of colour.

She draws it more closely about her, and it ripples beneath

her slight stirring.

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