From Noon to Starry Night
From Noon to Starry Night
THOU ORB ALOFT FULL-DAZZLING
THOU orb full-dazzling! thou hot October noon!
Flooding with sheeny light the gray beach sand,
sibilant near sea with vistas far and foam,
And tawny streaks and shades and spreading blue;
O sun of
noon refulgent! my special word to thee.
Hear me illustrious!
Thy lover me, for always I have loved thee,
Even as basking babe, then happy boy
alone by some
wood edge, thy touching-distant beams enough,
Or man matured, or young or old, as
now to thee I
launch my invocation.
(Thou canst not with thy dumbness me deceive,
I know before the fitting man all Nature yields,
answering not in words, the skies, trees,
hear his voice and thou O sun,
As for thy throes, thy perturbations,
and shafts of flame gigantic,
I understand them, I know those flames, those
Thou that with fructifying heat and light,
O'er myriad farms, o'er lands and waters North
Mississippi's endless course, o'er Texas'
grassy plains, Kanada's woods,
O'er all the globe that turns its
face to thee shining
Thou that impartially infoldest all, not only continents,
Thou that to
grapes and weeds and little wild
flowers givest so liberally,
Shed, shed thyself on mine and me, with but a fleeting
ray out of thy million millions,
Strike though these
Nor only launch thy subtle dazzle and thy strength
Prepare the later afternoon of me myself
prepare my lengthening shadows,
Prepare my starry nights.
SAUNTERING the pavement or riding the country by-road,
lo, such faces!
Faces of friendship, precision,
caution, sauvity, ideality,
The spiritual-prescient face, the always welcome common
face of the singing of music, the grand faces of
natural lawyers and judges broad at the back-top,
faces of hunters and fishers bulged at the brows,
the shaved blanch'd faces of orthodox citizens,
pure, extravagant, yearning, questioning artist's face,
The ugly face of some beautiful soul, the handsome
detested or despised face,
The sacred faces of infants, the illuminated face of the
mother of many children,
face of an amour, the face of veneration,
The face as of a dream, the face of an immobile rock,
withdrawn of its good and bad, a castrated
A wild hawk, his wings clipp'd by the clipper,
that yielded at last to the thongs and knife
of the gelder.
Sauntering the pavement thus, or crossing the
ceaseless ferry, faces and faces and faces,
I see them
and complain not, and am content with all.
Do you suppose I could be content with all if I
thought them their own finalè?
This now is too lamentable a face for a man,
Some abject louse asking leave to be, cringing for
milk-nosed maggot blessing what lets it wrig
to its hole.
This face is a dog's snout sniffing for garbage,
Snakes nest in that mouth, I hear the sibilant threat.