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Friday, September 17, 2010

Song for September

(Leaves by Séraphine Louis de Senlis,
1864-1942, French painter)

“For broken dreams,” wrote C. S. Lewis, “the cure is, dream again and deeper.”


Respect the dreams of old men, said the cricket,
Summer behind the song, the streams falling
Ledge to ledge in the mountains where clouds come.
Attend the old men who wander
Daylight and evening in the air grown cold,
Time thins, leaving their will to wind and whispers;
The bells are swallowed gently under the ground.

Because in time the birds will leave this country,
Waning south, not to return again;
Because we walk in gardens among grasses,
Touching the garments of the wind that passes,
Dimming our eyes —

Give benches to the old men, said the cricket,
Listening by cool ways to the world that dies
Fainter than seas drawn off from mist and stone.
The rain that speaks at night is the prayer’s answer.
What are dry phantoms to the old men
Lying at night alone?

They are not here whose gestures we have known,
Their hands in the dusk, their frail hair in the sun.

~ Robert Fitzgerald (1910-1985), American poet

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