Eight Harvard Poets/Incessu Patuit Deus
INCESSU PATUIT DEUS
THE little clattering stones along the street
Dance with each other round my swimming feet;
The street itself, as in some crazy dream,
Streaks past, a half-perceived material stream.
Brighter than early dawn's most brilliant dye
Are blown clear bands of color through the sky,
That swirl and swoop and meet, to break and foam
Like rainbow veils upon a bubble’s dome.
Yours are the songs that burst about my ears,
Or blow away as many-colored spheres.
You are the star that made the skies all bright,
Yet tore itself away in flaming flight;
You are the tree that suddenly awoke;
You are the rose that came to life and spoke. . . .
Guided by you, how we might stroll towards death,
Our only music one another's breath,
Through gardens intimate with hollyhocks,
Where silent poppies burn between the rocks,
By pools where birches bend to confidants
Above green waters scummed with lily-plants.
There we might wander, you and I alone,
Through gardens filled with marble seats moss-grown,
And fountains — water-threads that winds disperse —
While in the spray the birds sit and converse.
And when the fireflies mix their circling glow
Through the dark plants, then gently might I know
Your lips, light as the wings of the dragon-flies …
— Merely dreams, fluttering in my eyes. …