To The Holy Spirit

Immeasurable haze:
The desert valley spreads
Up golden river-beds
As if in other days.
Trees rise and thin away,
And past the trees, the hills,
Pure line and shade of dust,
Bear witness to our wills:
We see them, for we must;
Calm in deceit, they stay.

High noon returns the mind
Upon its local fact:
Dry grass and sand; we find
No vision to distract.
Low in the summer heat,
Naming old graves, are stones
Pushed here and there, the seat
Of nothing, and the bones
Beneath are similar:
Relics of lonely men,
Brutal and aimless, then,
As now, irregular.

These are thy fallen sons,
Thou whom I try to reach.
Thou whom the quick eye shuns,
Thou dost elude my speech.
But when I go from sense
And trace thee down in thought,
I meet thee, then, intense
And know thee as I ought.
But thou art mind alone,
And I, alas, am bound
Pure mind to flesh and bone
And flesh and bone to ground.

These had no thought: at most
Dark faith and blinding earth.
Where is the trammeled ghost?
Was there another birth?
Only one certainty
Beside thine unfleshed eye,
Beside the spectral tree,
Can I discern: these die.
All of this stir of age,
Though it elude my sense
Into what heritage
I know not, seems to fall
Quiet beyond recall,
Into irrelevance.

by Yvor Winters

Comments (2)

this poem is skilfully penned.i like how versatile you are when it comes to word use.
Readers may be turned off by the diction...the 'thou' and 'thee...' but what is said is quite fine.