Call of the Night

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Rene Magritte, The Eternal Evidence (1930)

 

 

Dark, and the wind-blurred pines,
With a glimmer of light between.                                                                                                                      Then I, entombed for an hourless night
With the world of things unseen.

 

Mist, the dust of flowers,
Leagues, heavy with promise of snow,
And a beckoning road ‘twixt vale and hill,
With the lure that all must know.

 

A light, my window’s gleam,
Soft, flaring its squares of red—
I loose the ache of the wilderness
And long for the fire instead.

 

You too know, old fellow?
Then, lift your head and bark.
It’s just the call of the lonesome place,
The winds and the housing dark.

By Djuna Barnes

Limitations

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Image: Cynthia Via

 

The subtlest strain a great musician weaves,
Cannot attain in rhythmic harmony
To music in his soul. May it not be
Celestial lyres send hints to him? He grieves
That half the sweetness of the song, he leaves
Unheard in the transition. Thus do we
Yearn to translate the wondrous majesty
Of some rare mood, when the rapt soul receives
A vision exquisite. Yet who can match
The sunset’s iridescent hues? Who sing
The skylark’s ecstasy so seraph-fine?
We struggle vainly, still we fain would catch
Such rifts amid life’s shadows, for they bring
Glimpses ineffable of things divine.

By Henrietta Cordelia Ray