The Spinners

THE heavens are open,
Their gates are flung wide.
I can see lovers walking
Along, side by side.
On rivers of laughter
They sail time away
Like the little toy shallops
Of children at play.
I can see an old woman
Puff-puffing her pipe.
I can see boys in branches
Where apples are ripe.
And there by one gateway
Quite plainly I see
Seven maidens sit spinning
Around a green tree.
Their wheels are as shadows.
Their spindles are whirled
As dust, while they fashion
New forms for the world.
One spins a new trumpet
For new vines to blow.
One spins a new seed-pod
For new flowers to sow.
A new cowl for monkshood,
New leaves for the oak,
Seven-pointed, they’re spinnin
And one spins a cloak
For the pale evening primrose
Dew-cinctured, and far
Out-wandered in dreaming
As evening’s star.
And when they’ve been spinning
A time and a half,
They stay their bright spindles
And lean back to laugh.
Such laughter I’ve never
Heard here upon earth.
From its majors and minors
Ten brooks came to birth.
Then, stinting their chorus,
Accordant, they sing:
’Our Lord made earth lovely,
Yea, every live thing.
And we that love beauty,
On us He has laid
His touch of desire
To make as He made.
Thus, though we know soothly
Save Him, there is none
Who makes, we sit spinning
Our fancies and fun.
Thereon He sends laughter:
For straightway we find
Our silly small makings
Were dust from His mind.
So for love we cease whirling
Our spindles of gold,
And, adoring, we worship
What has been of old,
And Him that did make it
But merrily we
Again shall sit spinning
Around our green tree.’