Back out of all this now too much for us,
Back in a time made simple by the loss
, burned, dissolved
, and broken off
marble sculpture in the weather,
There is a house that is no more a house
Upon a farm that is no more a farm
And in a town that is no more a town.
The road there, if you'll let a guide
Who only has at heart your getting lost
May seem as if it should have been a quarry
knees the former town
Long since gave up pretense of keeping covered.
And there's a story
in a book about it:
Besides the wear of iron wagon
The ledges show lines ruled southeast northwest.
The chisel work of an enormous Glacier
That braced his feet against the Arctic Pole
You must not mind a certain coolness from him
Still said to haunt this side of Panther Mountain.
Nor need you mind the serial ordeal
Of being watched from forty cellar
As if by eyes pairs out of forty firkins
As for the woods' excitement over you
That sens light rustle rushes to their leaves,
Charge that to upstart inexperience.
Where were they all not twenty years ago?
They think too much of having shaded out
A few old pecker
-fretted apple trees.
Make yourself up a cheering song of how
Someone's road home from work this once was,
Who may be just ahead of you on foot
Or creaking with a buggy
load of grain.
The height of the adventure is the height
Of country where two village cultures faded
Into each other. Both of them are lost.
And if you're lost enough to find yourself
By now, pull in your ladder road behind you
And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me.
Then make yourself at home. The only field
Now left's no bigger than a harness gall
First there's the children's house of make believe,
Some shattered dishes underneath a pine,
The playthings in the playhouse of the children
Weep for what little things could make them glad
Then for the house that is no more a house,
But only a belilaced
Now slowly closing like a dent in dough.
This was no playhouse but a house in earnest
Your destination and your destiny
that was the water of the house,
Cold as a spring as yet so near its source,
(We know the valley streams that when aroused
Will leave their tatters hung on barb and thorn.)
I have kept hidden in the instep arch
Of an old cedar at the waterside
A broken drinking goblet
like the Grail
Under a spell so the wrong ones can't find it,
So can't get saved, as Saint Mark
says they mustn't.
(I stole the goblet from the children's playhouse.
Here are your waters and your watering place.
Drink and be whole again beyond confusion