by Jane Tyson Clement
Why hold your heart in quiet? Is there not
more than we comprehend within a night
clear and trembling cold, diminished moon
and thin stars high and sweet? Look out beyond,
there where the bare trees stand against the sky
and the weak bat cheeps and flutters, safe from light.
Look out beyond, and let your heart go free.
This beauty now is real, not sent to trap
and trick you into loving something, gone
before its breath has whispered on your face.
Till time immortal, nights like these shall come
to link you with the years, and sweep along
the beating rhythm of the race’s song.
To know the moment is to know an age.
A moment to the heart of hills is nought;
an age a moment. So much less are we
than those dark mountains where the deer climb swift,
and pause to watch the valley smoke rise up
out of men’s sweat into an open sky.
To know the moment is to feel an age
pulsing under the hand, yet you would pass
the long way through the woods and take the road,
leaving the sun-laced forest floor unseen,
the fairy song of thrush and ovenbird
save for attentive, brush-tailed squirrels, unheard.