This water says, there is some secret in you

Akin to my clear beauty, silently responsive

To all that circles you. This bare tree says, --

Austere and stark and leafless, split with frost,

Resonant in the wind, with rigid branches

Flung out against the sky, -- this tall tree says,

There is some cold austerity in you,

A frozen strength, with long roots gnarled on rocks,

Fertile and deep; you bide your time, are patient,

Serene in silence, bare to outward seeming,

Concealing what reserves of power and beauty!

What teeming Aprils! -- chorus of leaves on leaves!

 

Conrad Aiken (1889-1973)

     from "The House Of Dust", 1920

 

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2004 David B. Nance