Saturday, 10 January 2009

Keep in the heart the journal nature keeps
From 'Preludes for Memnon'
by Conrad Aiken

Keep in the heart the journal nature keeps;
Mark down the limp nasturtium leaf with frost;
See that hawthorn bough is ice-embossed,
And that the snail, in season, has his grief;
Design the winter on the window pane,
Admit pale sun though cobwebs left from autumn;
Remember summer when the flies are stilled;
Remember spring, when the cold spider sleeps.

Such diary, too, set down as this: the heart
Beat twice or thrice this day for no good reason;
For friends and sweathearts dead before their season;
For wisdom comes too late, and come to naught.
Put down 'the hand that shakes', 'the eye that glazes';
The 'step that falters betwixt thence and hence';
Obseerve that hips and haws burn brightest red
When the North Pole and sun are most apart.

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