Traveller

A hundred years I slept beneath a thorn,
Until the tree was root and branches of my thought,
Until white petals blossomed in my crown.

A thousand years I floated in a lake
Until my brimful eye could hold
The scattered moonlight and the burning cloud.

Mine is the gaze that knows
Eyebright, asphodel, the briar rose.
I have seen the rainbow open, the sun close.

A wind that blows about the land
I have raised temples of snow, castles of sand
And left them empty as a dead hand.

A winged ephemerid I am born
With myriad eyes and glittering wings
That flames must wither or waters drown.

I must live, I must die,
I am the memory of all desire,
I am the world’s ashes, and the kindling fire.

Kathleen Raine

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2 responses to “Traveller

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