Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Nightly Beside

Nightly beside the river's lawns, I hear
Engines of the slow barges strain
'Gainst the dark in-tide, effort by effort gain
A determined way compulsively to clear
My little lawns, and die away downstream
To mingle sound with the soft rain and pass
The homesteads sleeping by the river's glass.
To beat a dark alarum with some dream.

Why is all life a pattern of their way,
This beating up the tide in the dark of night
Against the course of nature, with the sun
Absent, just darkness in the river's run,
Until far, far down, in the morning light,
We catch the destination with the day.

— A.J. Seymour, p. 175 in the Collected Poems.

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