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Sonnets From A Hospital Post by :zimbie Category :Poems Author :David Morton Date :October 2011 Read :2815

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Sonnets From A Hospital

I

SPRING

Remembering sunlight on the steepled square,
Remembering April's way with little streets,
And pouter pigeons coasting down the air,
Spilling a beauty, like white-crested fleets,--
I have imagined, in these pain-racked days,
The look of grasses thrusting through the earth,
Of tender shoots along green-bordered ways,
Of hedges, and their first, frail blossoming mirth.

I have imagined, too, in some such wise
Death may allow, within her darkened room,
Some subtle intimation of wide skies,
Of startled grasses, and the hedge in bloom,--
And we may know when some far spring comes down,
Wearing her magic slippers through the town.


II

FEVER

The cool, sweet earth is cool and sweet indeed,
To flesh that fever makes a cinder of,--
An angel with cool hands to cup his need,
In ministrations, kinder yet than love.
There, a cool cheek to lay against his own,
And rest for that hot blood's too restless will,
His hands to curve on root or clod or stone;--
And deep-dug earth is very, very still.

Yet some, remembering happiness he had
Of living things, of leaf and sun and air,
Could pity him his prison, and be sad,--
Not knowing how he is companioned there,
Nor how, for such as he and his great need,
The cool, sweet earth is cool and sweet indeed.


III

RUINS

The spring comes in to me like spring in Rome,--
As year by year those ruins, dead to mirth,
Sense a strange quickening in the sweetened loam,
Where new, returning Aprils take the earth;
Something they lost, so many centuries gone,
Something too swift and subtle for a word,
Is half-remembered--in a shattered faun,
A stained and broken bird-bath, and its bird.

But otherwise, all alien comes the Spring,
Touching but not transforming what they are:
Flowers in the cranny but a foolish thing,
Grass in the pavements, foreign as a star ...
Each reminiscent, half-insensate stone
Mocked with new life it cannot call its own.


IV

VISITATION

All through my fevered nights, their grey ghosts came,
The great, cool sailing ships blown softly by,
More fair than any beauty that we name,
Girdled of water, chrismed of the sky.
I cannot tell what hidden bales of prize,
What mystic spell may haunt the wraiths of ships,
But these were secret healing on my eyes,
And these were cooling water at my lips.

It may be, when the final fever ends,
And flesh burns out, at last, and pulses fail,
They will not know, my grieved and stricken friends,
How in that instant I had given hail
To one white ship come ghostwise in from sea,
And how at last that it is well with me.


(The end)
David Morton's poem: Sonnets From A Hospital

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