Choir for Me Farewell
These choirs of welcome choir for me farewell
Wallace Stevens, from “Le Monocle
de Mon Oncle,” section II
Bleak expanse of sky this winter noon:
Our strategies, our schemes, wither and fail.
Cloudscape with feeble flurry, dolent chill:
Dead weight of rime, frost on the bloom of youth.
Books do not solve the puzzle of Wherefore.
Unheard, unsung, the canticles of Melleray.
Ceilings, blank of prospect, vex, appall.
Reveries scrabble, scamper, fidget, fret.
Peering warily out, from grey to grey--
Canonical prohibitions, dusty pages ...
Yesterday's will is the might-have-been of Now:
Tomorrow's pestilence remains unpurged.
The tristful hermit pictures his late joy:
Princess of sable tresses, golden tread.
A quarter-century has come, has gone:
All lucency has faded, save her ghost.