The Shepherds

POETS like shepherds on green hills
Drowse near their browsing sheep,
Lead lambs to cover from hawks that hover
Above the shelving steep.
Theirs is an ancient realm of words
Where rhyme and time can turn
In mortal gesture to immortal
Traceries on an urn;
Where creep and weep are half-asleep
As death takes breath to bed,
Where ever lias a daughter never
Denies all she has said;
Dusk is the husk of the hazelnut sun
Fringing the arc of the dark;
Sweet is the meat to them who feed on
The unearthly mirth of the lark.
Like shepherds on a leopard’s hill
The poets hold their sheep,
bell them at dawn, tell them at evening
In what fold they must sleep.