The Third Note

No! do not speak! It is better to stand so
in air as palpable as water about, us
with lips close-shut lest it should drown us. No!
we need not speak, since this had never been without us.
It is your hand in mine that has lit the lake,
a bowl with a lamp shining through alabaster,
a bowl some Ganymede has lifted to slake
the thirst divine of his tall white mountain-master.
It is your still gold head, in the wave of the wind
like a Naiad’s head, that makes the great mountains dress
their spears at the salute. A thought in your mind
tumbled on the autumn trees their sunset loveliness.
It is because you stand, remote, above
the beauty of the world you are making, slender
as the slim reed at the young lips of love,
that Time has broken his sword, and the years surrender.
It is because you have leaned a little toward me,
not as a lover, but as the holier part
of the poet’s mind, that this fugitive ecstasy
outpaces even what the heart can say to the heart.
For love has but two notes, and those notes shake
beyond themselves from the heard to the unheard note,
and so fall back. And in dark the lovers wake,
but we shall not wake in dark; for this is the third note.