Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PRIAPUS AND THE POOL: 4, by CONRAD AIKEN



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PRIAPUS AND THE POOL: 4, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: This is the shape of the leaf, and this of the flower
Last Line: This is what you are to me.
Variant Title(s): Portrait Of A Girl


This is the shape of the leaf, and this of the flower,
And this is the pale bole of the tree
Which watches its bough in a pool of unwavering water
In a land we never shall see.

The thrush on the bough is silent, the dew falls softly,
In the evening hardly a sound.
And the three beautiful pilgrims who come here together
Touch lightly the dust of the ground.

Touch it with feet that trouble the dust but as wings do,
Come shyly together, all still,
Like dancers who wait, in a pause of the music, for music
The exquisite silence to fill.

This is the thought of the first, and this of the second,
And this is the grave thought of the third:
"Linger we thus for a moment, palely expectant,
And silence will end, and the bird

"Sing the pure phrase, sweet phrase, clear phrase in the twilight
To fill the blue bell of the world;
And we, who on music so leaflike have drifted together,
Leaflike apart shall be whirled.

"Into what but the beauty of silence, silence forever?" ...
... This is the shape of the tree,
And the flower, and the leaf, and the three pale beautiful pilgrims
This is what you are to me.





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