I sometimes think the Poem is there
Already, waiting, with the words
Linked each to each, and with the air,
Sung just that moment by a bird’s
Voice, plangent in a dusky room,
To which I wandered, as by chance.
All was arranged before I came:
The lines, like partners in a dance,
Flow from each other, true to time,
And those which, one by one, advance,
Move off in numbers spun with rhyme.
Surely the arcs of flambeaux flashed
Bright from these mirrors at my glance;
Surely the viols and hautboys crashed
Into a music brought from France,
As I pushed back the fragile door
And looked, uncertain and abashed -
The torches out, the music mute,
The dancers circling in the dark
To a silent tune heard just before,
That tonic descant on the flute
Which seemed a last call from the lark.
The poem, unseen, unheard, is there:
I merely lead it to the light.