The air was soft, the ground still cold. In the dull pasture where I strolled Was something I could not believe. Dead grass appeared to slide and heave, Though still too frozen-flat to stir, And rocks to twitch and all to blur. What was this rippling of the land? Was matter getting out of hand And making free with natural law, I stopped and blinked, and then I saw A fact as eerie as a dream. There was a subtle flood of steam Moving upon the face of things. It came from standing pools and springs And what of snow was still around; It came of winter’s giving ground So that the freeze was coming out, As when a set mind, blessed by doubt, Relaxes into mother-wit. Flowers, I said, will come of it. ~Richard Wilbur “April 5, 1974”
As the ground softens, so do I.
Somehow winter freeze was comforting
as nothing appeared to change,
so neither did I,
staying stolid and fixed.
But now the fixed is flexing,
steaming in its labor,
and so must I,
О Greater Light, we praise Thee for the less; The eastern light our spires touch at morning, The light that slants upon our western doors at evening. The twilight over stagnant pools at batflight, Moon light and star light, owl and moth light, Glow-worm glowlight on a grassblade. О Light Invisible, we worship Thee! In our rhythm of earthly life we tire of light. We are glad when the day ends, when the play ends; and ecstasy is too much pain. We are children quickly tired: children who are up in the night and fall asleep as the rocket is fired; and the day is long for work or play. We tire of distraction or concentration, we sleep and are glad to sleep, Controlled by the rhythm of blood and the day and the night and the seasons. And we must extinguish the candle, put out the light and relight it; Forever must quench, forever relight the flame. Therefore we thank Thee for our little light, that is dappled with shadow. ~T.S. Eliot from “O Light Invisible”