I AM pavilioned here from past and present;
From yesterday and from to-morrow locked:
I sit and watch that flashing bird, the pheasant,
Plunge by me while the heavy peace is rocked
With the swift fire of his sweeping plumes.
Save for that instant edged in flame no sound
Snarls in the somnolent and level looms:
The bees with loaded baskets brush the ground;
Or an occasional painted horsefly grooms
Himself in sunlight, brisk, serene, profound;
Or from the bluebell’s balcony a bird
Like the muezzin from his minaret
Calls out the holy interval word for word;
The late light pauses golden with regret;
A leaf snaps loose; there is no other sound.
I am a cell where silence like a bee
Packs down one radiant and essential hour;
I am a door sewed up with subtlety
Of silver by a spider’s rapid power;
Between me and the world an armistice
Hangs by a thread as delicate as hair:
The yellow jacket is aware of this,
The droning dragon fly is well aware.
And if the sword fall, if the serpent hiss,
If beauty cannot save me, if despair
Is forced upon me as a habit — how
Shall I believe in grass or song or sun
Or any bird diving from bough to bough
Like a fish with wings? How shall I, having none,
Escape the hawk’s black circles in the air?