Lord's Day Morn

 Pat thoughts of the dame's loose gown, and late
 Dark brew and peeled fruit in a chair with sun,
 And the green, all free, of the loud pet bird
 All on a rug mix through to draw off
 The hush for God for what he gave of old.
 She dreams a while, and too she feels the dark,
 As it grows close, of that old woe,
 As a calm turns dark in all the lights on a lake.
 The sharp smell of fruit and bright, green wings
 Seem things in some slow march of the dead,
 The day is like a wide lake, with no sound,
 Stilled so that her feet that dream can pass
 To past the sea, to our Lord's own hushed land,
 The realm of the blood and the old tomb.

 Why should she give her wealth all to the dead?
 What's that which makes a god if it can come
 Just in a shade that's still and in our dreams?
 Shall she not find in what feels nice of the sun,
 In sharp fruit smells and bright, green wings, or else
 In some balm or what looks nice of the earth,
 Things to be held dear like the thoughts of God's realm?
 What makes a god must live in her own self:
 High strung thoughts of rain, or moods of snow that falls;
 The grief that comes when you are lone, or not leashed
 Wild thoughts when the woods bloom; the gusts
 Of how you feel on wet roads on fall nights;
 All the joys and all pains, kept in mind
 The bough of warm times and the cold time's branch.
 These are what's to be done that are to be done for her soul.

 Jove in the clouds had his birth not of man.
 No mom gave milk to suck, no sweet land gave
 Broad ways to act to his mind of myth.
 He moved through us, as a king who seemed grand
 And talked with a soft voice, would move through his hinds,
 Till our blood, mixed, but still not stained,
 With the gods, brought such end to lust
 Those same hinds could see it, in a star.
 Shall our blood fail?  Or shall it come to be
 The blood of the land of grace?  And shall the earth
 Seem all of the land of grace that we shall know?
 The sky will be more friends with us then than now,
 A part of hard work and a part of pain,
 And next in what's grand to love that does not die,
 Not this set off blue that does not care.

 She says, "I have what I want when birds, just up
 Yet ere they fly, test out what's real
 Of the fields with mist, by their sweet calls that ask;
 But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields
 Come back no more, where, then, is the land of grace?"
 There is no haunt of what is told of what's
 To come, nor an old bad dream of the grave,
 No realm of gold down in the ground, nor isle
 Of songs, where ghosts gat them home, nor south
 That is seen in trance, nor palm with clouds
 That off on God's realm's hill, that has lived on
 As the fourth month's green lasts; or will it last
 Like how she brings to mind the birds that wake,
 Or how she so wants June and the eve, tipped
 By the thing brought forth of the swift's wings.

 She says, "But in what feels nice I still feel
 The need of some bliss that can't go bad."
 Death is mom to what looks nice; hence from her,
 With no one else, shall come the end to our dreams
 And what we want.  Though she strews the leaves
 Of sure death that leads to nought on our paths,
 The path sick sad thoughts took, all those paths
 Where joy has rung its phrase of brass, or love
 Said some soft things out of soft thought,
 She makes the long leaf tree shake in the sun
 For maids who were wont to sit and gaze
 On the grass, that life did give to their feet.
 She made boys pile new plums and pears
 On plate they use no more.  The maids do taste
 And stray, with fierce thoughts, in the strewn leaves.

 Is there no change of death in the land of grace?
 Does ripe fruit there ere fall?  Or do the boughs
 Hang down for all time in that sky sans flaw,
 With no change, yet so like our earth that dies,
 With large streams like our own that seek for seas
 They do not find, the same shores that go off
 That do not touch with pangs that can't speak?
 Why set the pear on the banks of those streams
 Or spice the shores with scent that comes from plum?
 Ah, that they should wear our hues up there,
 The cloth of silk of our late days,
 And pick the strings of our not strong felt lutes!
 Death is mom to what looks nice, in ways
 Not known, in which burnt breast we can come up
 With our moms of the earth, who wait sans sleep.

 With moves both sharp and with ease, a ring of men
 Shall chant in wild group on a mid year sun,
 Not as a god, but as a god might be,
 With them sans clothes, like some not cooth source.
 Their chant shall be a chant of the land of grace,
 Out of their blood, that goes back to the sky;
 And in their chant shall come in, voice by voice,
 The lake with winds which their lord likes,
 The trees, like God's winged folks, and sound off hills,
 That choir in their own selves long since.
 They shall know well the like God's realm group
 Of men that die and of the mid year morn.
 And whence they came and where they'll go
 The dew that's on their feet shall be.

 She hears, on that lake that has no sound,
 A voice that cries, "The tomb in the Lord's own land
 Is not the porch of ghosts that stay.
 It is the grave of Christ, where he did lay."
 We live in an fine old mess of the sun,
 Or live in that old life of day and night,
 Or like isles in our own selves, no lord, free,
 Of that wide lake, from which we can't go.
 Deer walk on all our hills, and quails
 Pipe round us their sharp cries of the now;
 Sweet fruits of the vine turn ripe in the wilds;
 And, in the sky that sets things off, in the eve,
 Sans thought the flocks of doves make soft and loud
 The sounds we can't make out as they sink,
 Down to the dark, on wings that they hold out.

                                -- Wall Steves