Ignis Fatuus

In the twilight of my audacity
I saw you flee the world, the burnt highways
Of summer gave up their light: I
Followed you with the uncommon span
Of fear-supported and disbursed eyes.

Towards the dark that harries the tracks
Of dawn I pursued you only. I fell
Companionless. The seething stacks
Of cornstalks, the rat-pillaged meadow
Censured the lunar interior of the night.

High in what hills, by what illuminations
Are you intelligible? Your fierce latinity
Beyond the nubian bulwark of the sea
Sustains the immaculate sight.

To the green tissue of the subterranean
Worm I have come back, two-handed from
The chase, and empty. I have pondered it
Carefully, and asked: Where is the light
When the pigeon moults his ease
Or exile utters the creed of memory?

by Allen Tate

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